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Ten things not to say when asking for a pay rise

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

There are likely to be some uncomfortable conversations going on at the BBC today after the salaries of top stars were revealed. If you’ve found out you’re not being paid enough, here’s what not to do to negotiate a bigger pay packet.

Asking for a raise is usually both uncomfortable and necessary, but you can make the conversation more productive by sticking to this advice.

Here’s a list of things – courtesy of the experts at Instant Offices – you should never say when asking your boss for more money:

  • “I quit!” (Unless you are prepared to.)

It will result in your employer feeling cornered, and have them questioning your long term loyalty to the company.

  • “I want it now!”

Don’t ask for a raise just after your company has announced poor financial results. It will indicate that you don’t have the company’s interests at heart – which will then decrease you chance of getting a raise.

  • “I deserve £200k a year.”

Keep your expectations realistic. Research a number of job ads similar to your position and adopt the average salary as your expectation.

  • “I demand a raise.”

Length of service alone is not a strong enough case for a salary review. Rather negotiate for that raise and demonstrate why you feel you deserve one.

  • “I want £X.”

Never reveal your number first as your boss may be considering offering you more than you would have requested.  Also don’t be afraid to request more than what they offer if you feel their offer is unreasonable.

  • “It’s all about me.”

It’s not actually about you, it’s about the company. Highlight what you have brought to the table, and what you will continue to offer.

  • “And another thing….”

If you are asking for a raise don’t ask for other things at the same time. It complicates the negotiation process and rarely works. Stick to the point and negotiate well.

  • “But they get more than me.”

What other people get is not your business. Focus on your qualities and achievements and don’t involve others.

  • “But my recruitment agent told me…”

Recruitment agencies make money from you switching jobs, so nine times out of ten they will tell you that you could earn more. That doesn’t mean it’s the market rate.

  • “But I’ve just bought a boat.”

Your personal circumstances changing isn’t justification for a salary increase. It’s best to keep that out of the negotiation to keep it on track.