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2015: A year of pay increases? That’s up to you!

There is a general feeling about 2015 being a ‘good year’. After almost 8 years since the economic crisis we can really feel that there is a positive movement in the economy. Companies are announcing more jobs, new projects, and new sites being established. And not only in the engineering or IT sectors; Customer service, multilingual and financial positions are also on the rise.

According to IBEC’s survey from January 2015, 57% of companies plan to increase basic pay in 2015. Additionally, the median pay increase is set to be 2%.
It might be a good time to ask for that pay increase you’ve been thinking about.

But how do you approach your employer about it?

1. Get your timing right. If you just stop your manager in the hallway and ask for the pay increase, it’s not going to come across very professional. I also wouldn’t recommend approaching this subject during Christmas parties or Summer barbeques. On a serious note, you want to come across as a professional to your employer so make sure you schedule a meeting. The ideal time is usually at on or before your work anniversary, prior to budget review or financial year end.

2. Do you have a figure in mind? How much of a pay increase are you looking for? Think about it before you go to the meeting. Research your market value. Read through salary surveys and salary reports. If you are on 40k, no one is going to offer you 20k pay increase. Be realistic!

3. Be confident and don’t be afraid to say why you deserve it. Make sure that you think of the reasons beforehand and that you are well able to explain your worth. Know your facts and know the value of your contribution, i.e. perhaps you saved 5k for the company in the last year.

4. “Why should we give you a salary increase?” Make sure that you work hard not just a week or a month leading up to the meeting but throughout the year to avoid being asked that question.

Go that extra mile! It won’t go unnoticed when you go above and beyond what is required of you and it will stand to you in your meeting with your manager.

Be prepared to take on more responsibility. Don’t be afraid to advise what your career ambitions are, that way the company know what they are investing in.

Show initiative! Process improvement, work environment improvement, cost saving or any other aspect that will add value to the company will also add value to you as an employee (not to mention the added value to your resume).

Show positive attitude! I’m sure you have an ‘off day’ from time to time. We all have them. But even when your motivation is running at an all-time low, try to stay positive. Employers want people with a positive ‘can do’ attitude.

Even if you work really hard throughout the year, you go above and beyond of what is required of you, if you don’t ask you aren’t going to get it. Unless your company has an annual salary reviews in place, you will have to ask for it yourself.

Good Luck!

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