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Research from online employment marketplace SEEK shows that while two-thirds of Australians aged 18-64 say salary is the most important reason they go to work, 75% have never asked for a pay rise.1
And according to the latest statistics from Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the current Australian gender pay gap stands at 14.2%2 – which means in 2021, women earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men.
Australian Retirement Trust is Australia’s women’s superannuation savings leader with $103 billion invested by women, according to 2021 data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.2 64% of Australian Retirement Trust members with a QSuper account are women, and yet women are still paid less than their male counterparts for the same job.3
When was the last time you asked for a pay rise?
Australia’s current tight jobs market means employers are in fierce competition to fill vacant positions, so this could be a good time to negotiate the pay rise.
But asking for more money can be a nerve-wracking – and awkward – experience. So, if you’ve been thinking about asking for a pay rise, here are five tips to get you started.
Set up a meeting
It is important to let your manager know that you would like to meet to discuss your salary expectations, so they are not taken by surprise. Then, there are some practical ways to prepare, said SEEK Client Optimisation Manager Jess Burr.
‘’Firstly, set up a meeting with your boss in an appropriate setting – not in the office kitchen or in a team Zoom call,’’ Ms Burr said. ‘‘Let them know you’d like to discuss your salary.’’
Gather your evidence
Having data to back up your conversation helps make it more factual. Check salary guides and have a clear view of averages and trends in your role in the industry, Ms Burr said.
‘’Think about how long you’ve been in an industry, your qualifications, achievements, how in-demand your skillset is and industry trends,’’ Ms Burr said.
SEEK’s salary lookup tool can be useful to find average salaries.
Ms Burr also said to be sure to talk about your achievements and examples of where you’ve gone above and beyond. If you are going for a new role, do it when you have demonstrated why you would be a good fit and the value you could bring.
Don’t make it personal
A request for a pay rise is a business conversation, so it can be best to negotiate from a professional value perspective rather than making it about personal value.
Put yourself in the role of your manager or employer and frame your discussion in terms of how your request will benefit them. Your due diligence, including your data and examples, will make the meeting a discussion based on facts rather than personal opinions or emotions.
Practise with someone you trust
It can be daunting to have a conversation about increasing your salary, but it’s a conversation worth having if you feel you have strong justification.
‘‘It can help to practice the conversation with someone you trust, so you feel confident in how you deliver it,’’ Ms Burr said. ‘’You will also need to be prepared with responses for some questions that might come up.’’
Be mindful that there are legitimate scenarios when it is not feasible for an employer to increase your salary. If this is the case, it might be an excellent opportunity to ask for additional benefits, as you would have put in the work to prepare performance examples and have a good idea of what’s happening in the industry for your type of role.
”Generally, the worst thing that can happen is they say no,’’ Ms Burr said. ‘‘In that scenario, you’ve got the opportunity to negotiate for something non-financial or to understand why.’’
If the answer is no, be understanding but ready with the other important things. This could be work from home, a more flexible work schedule, a training course or mentorship.
With the right information, you can make informed decisions about your career, financial security, and life goals.
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This content is provided for information purposes only, and the opinions expressed are theirs alone and should not be taken as financial product advice. You should get professional advice before making an investment decision.
1. SEEK, 3 tips to help you ask for a pay rise, accessed at 21 February 2022, seek.com.au/career-advice/article/get-that-raise-3-expert-tips-to-negotiate-like-a-boss
2. Rainmaker Information analysis of 2021 super fund information published by APRA, accessed 28 March 2022, rainmaker.com.au/media-release/australia-women-own-1-trillion-superannuation
3. Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Australia’s Gender Pay Gap Statistics, accessed 21 February 2022, wgea.gov.au/publications/australias-gender-pay-gap-statistics
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