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Are you being paid your worth? 5 top tips before you ask for a pay rise

It’s often deemed an awkward topic of conversation, and for a lot of people, it can feel especially difficult to initiate; the fear of ‘unsettling’ the security of your job during Brexit times is enough to deter many of us from exploring the idea altogether. But in many instances, it shouldn’t.

Positioned in the correct way and with consideration, you may achieve the salary you feel you deserve. If you're starting to look elsewhere and your motivation is purely financial, then make sure you explore this with your current employer before entering into an external process. Keep your reputation intact so that when you are ready to move, you’re really ready.

Ask yourself whether you deserve a pay rise

Do you feel undervalued or underpaid? Evaluate your performance since your last review. Think about what you’ve achieved, what value you’ve added and whether you’ve met and exceeded the goals laid out. Going beyond your job role will get you noticed. Taking on additional responsibilities will stand you in much better stead for having the salary discussion.

Do your research

Be prepared to justify your worth and research the average salaries for the area of law you specialise in. This is where talking to a recruiter will help. You can view our salary surveys on our website here. Our consultants are experienced and know their market inside-out, which means you’ll receive pragmatic advice on what to expect. Also, checking job adverts online will give you comparable rates of pay for your position.

Consider timing

Before requesting a meeting, make sure you’re in the ‘good books’. Consider the firm's financial health along with your individual successes. Think about when you last had a pay rise – if it was within the last 12 months, do you warrant another one so soon?  The best time to negotiate a rise is following a period of consistent performance.

Be realistic

Consider what you’d like to achieve and pitch it in line with your research. You’ll need to justify your reasons, so be prepared to sell yourself. Demonstrate your contribution to the firm and your plans for the next six months. A pay-rise is a business decision and needs to be signed off by more than one partner; make sure you’re in favour with all.

Be prepared to negotiate

Present your case clearly and succinctly and consider other options. If your pay rise is turned down, for the time being, there are other things you can ask for. How about a realistic time-frame that’s based on targets, which will eventually get you the figure you require? Keeping sight of your promotion pathway and having a frank chat about where you need to be might be the best you can hope to achieve at the moment. Consider negotiating benefits if the money isn’t forthcoming. Such as funded qualifications, free parking or even a better car allowance.

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