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How to get a pay rise in 2022

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

Analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that people who switch jobs boost their earnings by 7.3% on average – more than double the 3% uplift earned by workers who stay in their existing job.

But with the cost of living rising sharply and household energy bills set to soar in 2022, many workers who plan to remain in the same job will want to ask their employer for a pay rise.

So, how can workers negotiate a better salary?

Mikaela Elliott, senior manager of employer insights at Indeed, said: “When it comes to negotiating, either with your current employer or with a would-be boss, doing your research beforehand will set you up for a productive conversation. Indeed’s salary tool analyses hundreds of thousands of salaries to give you a good understanding of how much you should be earning, and shows you your earning potential. It also helps you manage expectations before you enter negotiations.

“Not all employers will be able to match your salary expectations, but they may be able to offer other forms of compensation, such as additional holiday days or more flexible working. It is a good idea to weigh up the total package before making a final decision, as those extra days off may end up being more valuable to you than a little bit more money. 

“Often the best way of securing a raise is to switch jobs. In fact, research suggests workers can double their earnings growth by heading to pastures new. So do not be afraid to walk away from pay negotiations if your employer’s offer does not fairly meet your expectations.”

How to negotiate a better salary with your current employer

Pick the right time

Deciding when to negotiate your salary can be just as important as the conversation itself. For instance, good times to ask include after you’ve won a promotion or gained further qualifications, when you’re taking on a leadership role or when your experience level no longer matches your salary. 

Do your homework

Research the market and calculate your individual value before going into any negotiation. For example, if you have been with a company for a number of years, your experience will be valuable and your employer may be willing to compensate you for it. 

When researching job vacancies similar to yours, check the required qualifications and experience are genuinely comparable to your own.

Practise your pitch

Identify clear reasons why you deserve a pay rise, and rehearse your negotiation pitch beforehand so you feel as comfortable as possible going into the conversation. 

Be ready to justify your case for meriting a better salary and consider rehearsing different scenarios and outcomes, such as rebuttals, questions or negotiation offers from your employer.

Be willing to compromise

Be flexible and willing to collaborate with your employer on a solution or compromise. An employer might offer you a different salary package, with more holiday pay or more convenient working hours, if it can’t directly raise the amount of money you’re paid. Evaluate carefully whether such incentives might in fact be more beneficial to you than a higher basic salary.

Don’t be afraid to walk away

If your pay rise request is refused, it might be time to move on. But first ensure that you’ve tried all different avenues, such as asking for more holiday time or more flexible working hours. You may also be able to pause the negotiations and come back to the conversation at a later date, after each party has had a chance to consider everything fully.