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When To Ask For a Pay Rise

It’s been a long, long six years since 2008, which for many of you might have been the last
time you had an over inflation pay rise. For some people reading this blog, it might have been the last time you had a pay rise at all. Between 2010-2013 real wages overall fell for three years in a row.

Over the last three years, economists have been scratching their heads, unable to explain why Britain, still technically in recession, was adding jobs at a faster rate than any other First World economy.

Well, this is not what Sherlock Holmes would have called a ‘three pipe problem’; the answer lies in the classical economics that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is fond of.The labour market operates like any other; people sell their skills and effort in a competing market place and often the cheapest labour with the requisite skills win.

During periods of recession, when it is no longer a seller’s market and workers cannot leave a job on Friday and start at a new employer on a Monday, employers experience a shift of power in their favour and a buyer’s market emerges.

We now live in an economy where the cost of labour is considerably cheaper and zero hours contracts are a reality for a great many people.

For some this is liberating, enabling them to have a new work/life balance and to limit the hours they work so they can spend time with their families. For others, the economy of 2014 is a far more precarious place and this makes the issue of when to ask for a raise a rather fraught one.

The Politics of the Pay Packet

Here you must do a delicate dance, simply marching up to your boss and demanding a pay rise is an approach that is almost guaranteed not to work. Not unless your boss owns the company (and even then, maybe not) he or she will have to run any pay rises by the HR department or their own superiors.

Your employer will decide pay awards for the workforce at certain times of the year, normally in before the new tax year, so if you are going to ask for more, make sure it’s at least three or four months before the decision is actually made.

Instead of tackling the issue head on, you might want to consider having a different type of conversation about money, one that doesn’t involve you asking for more payment for the same work.

The Right Kind Of Conversation

Above the basic issue of pay, a wider discussion is your future in the organisation. If there is none, that’s the first key piece of information you need and after that, your decisions may become an awful lot simpler.

However, if there is a compelling future for you at the company you work at, you need to focus on exploring the roles you might be able to fill in the near future. A pay rise will inevitably come with greater responsibility.

If you start a conversation demonstrating that you are keen for new responsibilities and that you’re ready to add more value to a company, then you will always make yourself more popular with the people you work for.

Navigating the world of work can be an unpredictable business fraught with potential employer/employee relationship pitfalls, so it makes sense to save regularly and effectively, this will help safeguard you against most eventualities.

Fortunately a professional adviser can provide financial advice on how best to make your money work for you. Click here for more details.


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