Salary negotiation skills | Advice on getting a higher salary

The salary you receive will depend considerably upon four factors:

  • Your level of work experience
  • Your educational attainment
  • The sector you are working in
  • Where in the country you are working

A good way to measure what your salary should be is to quantify how much money you are making for the company you work for. Obviously if you're working in the public sector or a not-for-profit organisation then this will be harder to do.

However if you are able to quantify how much you contribute to the company you will be able to get a good idea of what sort of salary you should be receiving. Depending upon the margins and the overheads that the company faces a sensible ball park estimate would be that gross salary should be approximately 25 per cent of revenue contribution.

These sort of considerations should be taken into salary negotiations. Companies will not want to lose people who are making them money.

Things you shouldn't do when asking for a pay rise are:-

Don't act like you're owed it. There's a fine line between acting confidently and arrogance. No matter how much you think you deserve more. If you want a pay rise, you must convince your boss that it's in the company's best interest.

Don't tell a sob story. Your boss is unlikely to give you a raise becauseof family problems. Everybody has problems and this will make you look highly unprofessional. Keep your personal life to yourself and concentrate on showing why your worth more than you're being paid.

Don't get angry or threaten to quit. Why would your boss invest in an employee who would jump ship? Threatening to walk out shows that you're not committed, making you a bad bet. That said, there's nothing wrong with using a competing offer as a bargaining tool when you ask for a raise. Just be very careful as your boss might call your bluff and let you (with their help) take that competing offer.

Don't demand to be paid as much as a co-worker. It's annoying to discover that one of your colleagues is getting more than you to perform the same job, but don't assume that confronting your boss will lead to parity. You may not have all the information - for example your colleague may have more qualifications than you.