You've been at your current company for what feels like decades and you've had enough of watching new blood rise up in the ranks. Even worse, at Friday night drinks, you over heard a workmate bragging about his six figure salary. That's when you make a decision to confront your boss once and for all and ask - no, beg! - for the pay rise you think you deserve.
But before you do, be prepared. Simple research and a checklist of dos and don'ts could mean the difference between your boss agreeing to review your salary and your boss telling you to get back to your desk, pronto.
Business coach Terri Billington told The Huffington Post Australia the first rule is to not ask for a pay rise without reason.
"You need to say, 'I'd like a pay rise in two or three months and this is what I'm prepared to do to show you my extra value,'" Billington said.
"Be in a position of knowing whether the business is doing well. You might not know everything about the financial situation but you should have a good feel of whether things are good or bad, or whether the business is growing. You can show how you can add growth. It's a no-brainer for a business person to give a raise to somebody who can prove they can help grow the business."
Kate Sykes from Career Mums said employees need to make sure their reason for wanting a pay rise does not involve needing to fund your lifestyle.
"You'll need to review your position description. Has your role evolved since you started? Have you taken on more responsibility and accountability? Have a look at some of the latest salary guides and find out what your role is worth in the market and where you sit in this range," Sykes said.
"Also consider your qualifications. Have you completed any tertiary qualifications while you have been there? Some positions require tertiary qualifications so if you have completed them while working there, this may be valued by the employer. Consider if your skill sets are in high demand in your industry as this may provide you with some scope to secure a pay rise as your employer may be very keen to retain you."
Another tip is to pitch your request for a pay rise in an email first and then ask for a meeting with your superior. This way your boss won't feel ambushed by you.
"It's better than wrangling the elephant in the room and you'll be able to have a confident conversation for which you've both had time to prepare," said Emma Grey, director of WorkLifeBliss.
'You should also feel confident in your request, even if you work flexibly. Employees sometimes feel so grateful for the flexible work arrangement they've negotiated, they shrink back from asking for a pay rise. If your compensation doesn't match your high contribution to terms of output, you can feel confident in asking for an adjustment to your salary. Remember that 'hours at the desk' does not automatically equal 'efficient output.'"
Terri Billington suggests an employee approaches their boss with a well thought out 'Pay Pitch' which outlines plans to add efficiency and growth to the business.
A Pay Pitch should include :
1. Business Growth: Highlight new ways you can drive business growth in your current role. For example you might handle the company's social media account simply responding to questions posted but no one is updating it daily with new content to engage potential customers. You might plan to take on that responsibility also.
2. Efficiency: Detail ways to streamline your job to make it more efficient, which could also branch out into the team making your colleagues more efficient also.
3. Organisation : Be aware of the financial state of the company and the staff morale within. Knowing this will help you devise a plan suitable for your boss.
4. In Writing : A pay pitch should always be in writing sent to the employer and at the same time a meeting scheduled for a week later. Sell yourself in the meeting and set a deadline for a response. Follow up until you get an answer.
"There is nothing better for a boss than an employee coming up with ideas and if the employer is not receptive to this then move on to find a boss who is," Billington said.