Are You Getting Paid What You Deserve? If Not, What Can You Do About It?
You’ve got great skills and experience and have invested time and energy in your current role. You’re performing well and smashing your targets but have a sneaking suspicion that you’re not being paid what you’re worth. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you do something about it.
Prepare the Pathway
Ask for regular feedback from your manager to show that you are keen to hone your skills and grow in your role and in the organisation. Put up your hand to take on extra responsibilities and then prove through your performance that you have been a good choice. Another smart move is to attend workshops, seminars and conferences in your area of specialisation or industry sector to develop your professional network and gain a bigger picture.
Research Your Worth
Find out what people with your skills and experience are being paid to do a similar role in your industry sector and location. You may have the opportunity to discuss pay with your co-workers, although note that pay secrecy clauses in many Australian employment contracts may prevent you from doing this. You could sound out employees in other organisations through your professional networks – both online and offline. There are also some useful online salary comparison tools that are worth a look, e.g. Glassdoor, PayScale and Australian Salaries; job ads are another potential source of information.
Consider the Whole Package
A higher wage or salary is just one slice of the pie. How about taking a look at the other components in your current agreement and pay package? You might have room to negotiate additional annual leave, flexible working arrangements, performance bonuses, tools and equipment allowances and enhanced healthcare cover.
Study Your Job Description
If you have a job description for your role, take some time to go through it in detail. You might find that you are now working outside the scope of your initial role. You may have taken on a raft of additional responsibilities, e.g. running a project or replacing your line manager when she is away. Or you may have gained extra skills and qualifications since taking on your role that you are now actively using to benefit the organisation. All of these potentially indicate that you deserve a pay rise.
Mark Your Performance
Think about your key achievements in the organisation and, if possible, quantify them. Perhaps you have designed and implemented a new process that has resulted in less equipment downtime. Or maybe you have increased product sales in your area by an impressive percentage. The idea here is to emphasise your value to the organisation by providing tangible examples.
There’s no need to wait for your annual review date. When you’re ready to negotiate, ask to meet with your manager and/or an HR representative. Make it clear that you’ll be wanting to discuss your remuneration so that they can come prepared. In advance of the meeting, take some time to draw all your evidence together in a format that you are confident to present. You might find it useful to design a PowerPoint presentation, for example, or prepare a handout to support your argument.
Negotiate Like a Pro
In the meeting, reassure your employer of your ongoing loyalty to the company and your aim to progress your career there. Present them with the facts based on your reflection and research. Keep the discussion professional and balanced. You want to impress the decision-makers with a rational, structured approach, to influence the outcome rather than trying to force it.
Wait for them to offer a pay increase and then quote the higher end of the package you are aiming for and explain why you believe you are worth it. The idea is that your employer will meet you somewhere in the middle. If nothing is forthcoming on the day, ask for another meeting to review your request and specify the timeframe you are looking at for a raise.
With planning, research and the confidence to ask for more, here’s hoping you get what you deserve. If not, now could be the time to look for a new job with an employer who values your skills and experience and who will offer you more in return.