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How to ask for a pay increase after a pandemic

by Shelly Horton

Asking for a pay increase after a pandemic sounds as palatable as drinking a fish milkshake.

Many organisations will be struggling, so asking for a pay rise at a time when they’re struggling to start up again and keep other employees on could be seen as a douche move.

However, some industries boomed during COVID.

So do your research and pick your time.

You’re going to have to face facts that it’s going to be damn hard, but not impossible.

So here are some of my dos and don’ts.

DON’T: Assume you’re entitled to a raise.

Millennials I’m looking at you. A raise, by definition, means getting extra. So, make sure you haven’t just turned up and put in the bare minimum. You need to have exceeded expectations. Know your worth. Meet with a recruiter, find out what similar jobs are going for.

DO: Be brave enough to ask.

It sounds simple but so many people are afraid of asking for more money in case they lose their job. One of the first things to do is putting on your big girl pants and actually ask for a raise. You might be the quiet achiever scoring goals but when it comes to asking for a pay increase it’s a case of the squeaky wheel getting the oil. Pay increases are not a given, so you have to speak up.

DON’T: Give an ultimatum.

If you threaten to resign if you don’t get more cash, the knee-jerk reaction is for the boss to call your bluff and then you’re out of a job. And that would suck.

DO: Think outside the box.

If the boss would love to give you more money but simply does not have any extra cash in the coffers, well there are other options that might keep you both happy. Remember you can ask for things other than cash money. Your boss may not have the funds to give you a raise but could be willing to reward you with other perks like more flexible hours, industry training or an extra week of annual leave.

DON’T: Be discouraged if you get a no.

If your boss says no, ask for a pay review in six months instead of waiting another year. Then use the time to upskill so you are first in the line for a pay rise once the economy stabilises.

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