How to secure a pay rise
March 4, 2012 7:59 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations on securing pay rise in current job.

I am approaching my annual review in the next week. I have been compiling all the necessary info to present my case but not sure if I'm missing anything.

I'm interested to know of any tips to ensure I have all my bases covered including what documents I should present to my management. Obviously want to keep things as professional as possible and will focus on my achievements within the company (that have benefited the company) as well as ongoing work goals.

On a side note, I've been working for the same company since late 2007 and have only had 2 payrises since. Over the years I've fallen into a sales and marketing role (in fact I'm the only sales member for the parent company, there are 5 subsidiaries and total of 75 staff and the parent provides sales support to 4 of those subsidiaries). The last 6 months has been especially busy with large contracts coming in, I deal with much of client interaction, procurement, contract management and logistics specifically for 2 of the subsidiaries. I have seen significant profit through these contracts in the last year or 8 months especially. Ive also been requested in the last 2 weeks to train and manage an off-shore sales/marketing team of which the company has new recruits since last week.

In addition, Ive had to adjust my afterhours post-grad studies to a very casual basis so I can meet the heavy workload (after-hours which are not paid) - this adjustment has been mostly my choice but also with some pressure from management. I've still managed to gain graduate certificate level in the last year but the masters is a few years off yet. The course I'm doing is directly related to the companies core business.

Finally, I've done a few online payscale surveys and seem to be sitting on a low wage given the job role and my experience, my industry percentile is around 37% (ouch) - Do I mention this during the review or keep it to myself?

Anyhow, any hot tips to secure the pay rise? How do I increase my chances? I'm aiming for 20% increase but not sure what to expect yet.

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.
posted by Under the Sea to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The only time I've been successful at getting a significant raise (20% is pretty significant), is when I was absolutely sure that I could leverage my job on it. It was a small company with no huge HR structure, and I'd been doing my very unique job extremely well for several years and it would have been such a bitch for them to replace me.

Where I am now, at a large university, even my boss has little control over what I make. The most he can do it put a good word in for me to get as far to the top of the pay scale as possible. And there are people clamoring to find positions like mine, so I'm completely replaceable.

It's really hard to give advice on this without knowing more about the structure of your employer. If there's a good chance (and it sounds like there is) that your work merits a significant pay raise, the only way you know whether to take the chance is to find out if it's a possibility in your company. It might help to speak to someone in the company that you trust (not to say anything to anyone else, and to give you honest feedback) to get an idea of what the process is like if you're not sure. Obviously, you would want to be discreet.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:52 PM on March 4, 2012

Thanks for advice and sorry to thread-sit (Ill try not to)

Its difficult for me to discuss this with my colleagues as the company is relatively small. Across the subsidiaries there is around 75 fulltime staff and near to 115 including casual /part-time staff. However HQ only employs about 5-6 staff, most of whom travel regularly overseas to the manufacturing facilities and projects.

The company is privately owned and offers custom engineering and manufacturing of proprietary technology as well as being a turn-key supplier for projects. It is a very niche market and our clients are spread all over the world. I am one of the few staff employed directly by HQ, most of the 75+ staff are employed through subsidiaries in off-shore markets and are 'cheap labor' in comparison to HQ staff. I know this is a concern of the management because they prefer for cheap labor, however off-shore staff tend to be less competent, less motivated, etc.

My basic issue is that I am the only staff member working in sales and marketing under HQ, therefore the most senior person in sales/marketing in contact with our international clients. Because of time differences with our overseas clients as well as our international jobs, I'm expected to work around the clock, which is fine but exhausting and seemingly underpaid. I was told that the company would be hiring more staff to assist my work but at this stage all I see happening is off-shore staff taking up basic level procurement jobs etc to assist me.

I know I am totally irreplaceable in the short term future, however I don't want to be holding my management to ransom because the job is quite good albeit hectic.

How do I approach this all in terms of asking for the payrise?
posted by Under the Sea at 9:06 PM on March 4, 2012

If your company can afford to pay you more then they should absolutely start doing so. You are a key person in this company, and you know it. I think that mentioning how your pay compares to others in your field is OK to mention, as long as you don't give the impression that you are shopping around for jobs. That kind of pressure rarely works out the way you want. You could easily convince them that, although you love your job and are very good at it, you are doing things above and beyond what someone in your field at another employer would be doing, but at a much lower pay rate. If anything, it suggests that you are no longer ignorant of the possibilities that exist elsewhere but that you would definitely like to stick around. Good luck!
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:04 PM on March 4, 2012

I've done a few online payscale surveys and seem to be sitting on a low wage given the job role and my experience, my industry percentile is around 37% (ouch) - Do I mention this during the review or keep it to myself?

I don't think it can hurt, but make sure your source is sound before you do so. Some payscale sources rely solely on self-report and thus, it can be easily argued, are inflated.

The best way I know of to get a raise is to 1. Be totally ready to walk away if you don't meet your pay goal, and 2. Work in an environment where the culture is to reward good work rather than trying to pay employees as little as can b gotten away with.

You sound a bit iffy on #1, and I can't tell about #2 from what you've written.

Your job doesn't sound good to me, fwiw, and I wonder whether you are overvaluing it. Being prevented from completing post-doc work because you have to work "around the clock" while being underpaid doesn't sound appealing, ya know? I think perhaps that rather than focusing on strategies for winning a raise, you spend at least some of your prep time talking to yourself about how there are better jobs out there and that they are lucky to have you, etc.

As for "not wanting to hold management ransom", at many companies, an attitude like that would be one-way, and management wouldn't hesitate to do something "mean" to you as a worker, if it were expedient.

In general I think you need to approach this less as a supplicant and more as a confident professional who doesn't *need* this particular job.
posted by parrot_person at 10:08 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I always say, if you think you deserve more money, get a job offer that will pay you that amount. When leaving, provide your current company with that reason, if they choose to match or beat it, you have a decision to make.
posted by edman at 10:25 PM on March 4, 2012

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