Want a payrise? Ask for it

Last updated: 19 December 2015

How much are you really worth?

Forget what your payslip says, that’s a number that’s probably due for renegotiation. In the time since your salary was determined, you’ve grown as an employee and now deliver better value to your employer.

Unfortunately, wages tend not to grow in line with your skills and experience. At least not without changing jobs, which a lot of the time is easier said than done.

But you’re worth more than you’re currently banking. You’re more productive than ever, you achieve more in a day than your colleagues, and at a higher standard, yet your salary isn’t growing.

Simply put, your boss isn’t going to suddenly offer you more money. That’s not how it works. If anything, they’d probably prefer to be paying you a bit less, to free up cash for other uses.

What are your options?

Do some research – find out what similar roles are paying at other companies. If you’re ahead of market rates, it might be time to rethink your pitch. You’re onto a good thing, congratulations.

Otherwise, document what you’ve done to deserve more dollars. Your boss is too busy doing their own job to note everything you’ve done. The better the job you’re doing, the less likely it is that anyone has noticed.

Be realistic too – there’s every chance that you’ll be knocked back. There may be no more money.

Be prepared to push for non-monetary benefits – an extra week of annual leave might not boost your bank balance, but it’s guaranteed to boost your happiness.

If the current economic climate remains constant, you’re probably not going to be seeing much wage growth at all in the near future.

We enjoyed seven glorious years of world-leading wage growth from 2007 to 2013, as the mining industry protected our economy from the bleak depths of the global financial crisis, with skyrocketing wages in the sector also dragging up wages in other industries as they attempted to remain competitive and keep their workers from chasing coal money.

Since then though, wage growth has stayed, on average, only slightly ahead of inflation. In other words, pay increases did virtually nothing to increase your purchasing power, but served to keep you from going backwards.