Newsroom

6 steps to getting the pay rise you want

Salary offer crop
Posted: Apr 2022

We recently reported that comms professionals are on the hunt for better pay as the cost of living and inflation surges but also more flexibility and meaning from their jobs after reconsidering their priorities during the pandemic. Top performing PRs are a hot commodity, so many are taking the opportunity to move jobs at a time when companies are now more flexible on the requirements for open positions. But what if you love your job, and the company you work for, but you feel that your salary is not reflective of your experience and market worth? For lots of us, asking for a pay rise is no easy thing and it’s a topic we often shy away from. You need a clear strategy to help prepare you for negotiation, so we have put together 6 simple steps to build your confidence around salary negotiation.

1. Do your prep

Whether you have a scheduled salary review or a regular appraisal, preparation is key. In our experience, companies who like to be known as one of the top payers and offer employees an increase before being asked are a rare breed.  It is highly unlikely that your boss is going to applaud your achievements and give you a hearty pay rise without a little input from your end too.  Make yourself aware of the system your company employs when it comes to reviewing salaries. Not all firms have a formal procedure in place, so you need to get acquainted with how it’s handled.  Is it part of an annual review?  When does the review take place? If the company you work for has a more laissez-faire approach, it will be up to you to give the boss a nudge and ask for a review.

2. Know your worth

Before you start talking numbers with the boss, you need to be clued up on your market worth.  Make sure to check out our Salary Guide (2022 version coming out very soon!) - talking to friends or colleagues in different positions and professions isn’t going to generate an accurate representation.  If you don’t have this information at your fingertips, contact us to get an up-to-the-minute figure to take into your meeting. It’s quite easy to get off-track if you have been in your role a few years or perhaps taken parental leaves at review times.

3. Keep track

If your company reviews salaries on an annual basis, be mindful of how effective you are throughout the year so that you can present a convincing case when it comes to proving your worth.  Keep track of how effective you have been: agency PRs need to be tuned into accounts that they’ve grown or won; in-house employees should be ready to show how they have been instrumental in the firm’s increase in quality media coverage or made savings on the budget.  You need to have a powerful case to present – in a large company, your accomplishments from 6 months earlier could easily be forgotten, so be vocal about your triumphs!

4. Timing, timing, timing

If you have the option of choosing when to have a conversation about a pay rise, do it when you’ve done something that you feel has added value to the company.  You’ll feel better about yourself which will come across positively in the discussion.  An employer will want to retain great employees who show not only talent but also self-belief and commitment to their role.

5. Be confident

For most people, money talk is uncomfortable territory. If you work for a company that doesn’t take stock of employee salaries on an annual basis, it’s easy to let the discussion about a salary increase slide and you may find yourself taking home the same amount for a couple of years. You may start to question your value to the company and resent the lack of financial recognition. Don’t allow this to happen.  Bite the bullet and ask for a review. Stop thinking that an employer will spot your talents and reward you accordingly. Hard work doesn’t always equate to a pay rise, time flies and these things can be easily missed. Have the conversation.

6. Take stock

You may not get the uplift you were hoping for but this doesn’t have to mean looking for something else.  Ask yourself what you value most about your job.  If the role fits with your values and offers you the opportunities you’re looking for then you’ll probably feel a lot better about the new salary deal once you’ve had time to process these thoughts.

At the end of the day, it’s all about knowing your worth and presenting a valid case.  Good luck!

The Works Search: a search consultancy specialising in PR and corporate communications. We have unrivalled matching abilities and known for finding the top 5% performers in the industry - the ones who deliver and make your reputation great. For more advice or market insights, do get in touch with us on 0207 903 9291 or email sarah@the-works.co.uk. 

Want to read a little more

Online interviewee 414x300
Career Advice

8 steps to avoid a Zoom interview disaster

Jan 17, 2022
7 Secrets to Make Your CV Stand Out
Career Advice

7 Secrets to a Stand-Out CV

May 24, 2021
Job Search
Career Advice

Here’s How to Find Your Next Comms Role

Jun 01, 2020
Heres How to Make Flexible Working Work
Career Advice

Here’s How to Make Flexible Working Work

Feb 05, 2020
7 Tips For Interviewing Success
Career Advice

7 Tips For Interviewing Success

Jan 07, 2020
5 Secrets to Securing Your Next Agency Move
Career Advice

5 Secrets to Securing Your Next Agency Move

Oct 07, 2019
7 Foolproof Steps to Interview Success
Career Advice

7 Foolproof Steps to Interview Success

May 21, 2019
End of Interview Questions You Should Ask
Career Advice

5 End of Interview Questions You Should Ask

Apr 06, 2019
Sell Yourself Better in 10 Easy Steps
Career Advice

Sell Yourself Better in 10 Easy Steps

Mar 09, 2019