Follow these golden rules to boost your salary.

 

It’s how persuasive we are, not how deserving, that counts, says business mentor Heather Jackson, founder of management think tank An Inspirational Journey. “Don’t assume that the hierarchy knows about you,” she warns. “If you don’t want to be judged by your job spec, it’s vital to highlight your strengths.”

Strength 1: Self-belief

“Talent is hard to come by, so never feel you should be grateful for a job,” says Jackson. If you have skills and loyalty to offer, you’re an asset to the firm.

Strength 2: A business case

Companies aren’t charities, so don’t expect a rise because you’ve been there for years or a colleague has wangled one. “Focus on telling them what you’ve delivered for the organisation and what you can do for it in future,” says Jackson.

Strength 3: Networking

Find a mentor to inspire you and influence decision-makers. But make sure your line manager knows what you want too, so they don’t think you’re being sneaky. 

Strength 4: Tactical nous

Wait for a more relaxed time in the work cycle, then ask your manager if you can discuss your career for ten minutes over coffee. Planning is essential at every stage, so don’t waltz into a meeting hoping to “see how it goes”. “You need preparation and excellent presentation to sell yourself and your achievements,” says Jackson.

Strength 5: An exit strategy

If the firm can’t afford to pay you more, consider asking for a salary review in six months, flexible working or a new title. If they offer less than you’d like, take time to think it over. “Say, ‘Thanks, can I get back to you?’ ” advises Jackson. But don’t threaten to hand in your notice unless you have a job offer in your pocket. They might just accept it.

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