Unsure if you’re getting paid the same as your peers? Here’s how to find out, plus tips on asking for a pay rise, or negotiating your salary for a new job.
1. Look at job listings
Look at jobs similar to yours on job sites like Indeed, Monster, Guardian Jobs and LinkedIn and see what those vacancies that require similar skills, qualifications and experience to your own are offering as a salary. Remember to take factors like location and type of business into consideration. In London, for instance, salaries are higher to match higher living costs. Small companies may pay less than a much larger company for the same role, but you may get to enjoy more responsibility and variation in your work. In addition, you should always consider the value of other benefits a company offers, such as supplemented gym memberships, a company car, flexible working hours or free lunches.
2. Use a salary comparison site
Payscale.com is a free tool that generates a full report on how your salary measures up. It’s a useful and easy way to evaluate salary offers if you’re applying for a new job too. The site asks you to input information such as your job title, years in the field/career, location, qualifications and other factors and then generates a report containing the average salary for that role, bonuses, information on which companies pay well for that role and how the average pay has changed over time.
Glassdoor.com also lets you compare salaries for different roles at thousands of companies. The data is crowdsourced from over 45million employees worldwide who have anonymously submitted their salary, or rated and reviewed the company they work for, so there is lots of interesting information for job seekers on there too.
How to ask for a pay rise
The best person to approach about a pay rise is your line manager, or the person who you directly report to on a daily basis. If they refuse you, it’s important not to go over their head and ask someone else higher up in the company as this can cause conflict. Approach your manager at a time when they’re feeling relaxed – avoid busy, stressful periods like Monday mornings or when they’re preparing for an important pitch for instance. Ask to schedule a meeting – you don’t have to tell them it’s to discuss your salary, unless you feel they would prefer to be warned in advance.
In the meeting, highlight the reasons you’re worth more than your current salary – treat it like a job interview. Stay calm and positive about your future with the company no matter what their response is. Once you’ve said your piece, give your boss time to think and reply. If your boss says no, be polite and gracious and ask your boss for feedback on how you could change your performance. Just because they have said no this time, that doesn’t mean that if you show commitment and a willingness to improve, you won’t receive a pay rise in the future.
Remember to consider other benefits too. If your company doesn’t have the budget available to give you a pay rise, think about any additional benefits you could ask for instead, such as a company car, flexible working hours, extra holiday or training.
Advice on negotiating your salary for a new job
It’s important to go into the application process with a figure prepared. This can be a range. Start with your absolute, deal-breaking minimum and lead up to your ideal figure. Once you’re given a figure, make sure if you do ask for more them it’s realistic and justifiable. If you’re offered £20,000, don’t ask for £30,000 – that’s a 50% increase! Don’t rush into a decision, as it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for time to consider the offer. Make sure you have the details in writing, go home, and consider your options. As with asking for a pay rise in your current role, remember that there are extras to think about so ask about benefits in addition to salary such as holiday time, pension, bonuses and perks such as lunches and gym discounts – they may be worth those extra pounds you were looking for.