How to Negotiate a Pay Rise

How to Negotiate a Pay Rise

How to Negotiate a Pay Rise

Staff in the FE sector are facing a growing number of pressures as a result of the increasing cost of living, inflation and continuously rising housing prices. More and more employees find it challenging to provide a sufficient living for their families.

Many people working in the Further Education (FE) sector are not aware that they could negotiate their pay. Based on recent research, 41% of women would be likely to negotiate their pay when moving new roles compared to 61% of men. 

Have you ever considered asking for a higher salary?

You would probably agree that talking about salary expectations is challenging. Developing negotiation skills is vital in the workplace and this is something we can all learn. Successful salary negotiations can contribute to managing economic pressures easier and to provide a better living for our loved ones. When our salary expectations are met, we are more likely to feel committed to our employer and to our role.

Whether you are considering to accept a new job in the FE sector or you would like to ask for a rise in your current role, the following article will give you some guidance on how to negotiate successfully.

#Research – You would need to spend a few hours of your time researching salaries online. Do use the following questions if you consider accepting a new role:

-What is the pay structure of the role you would step into?

-How much do employees earn in the same or very similar roles?

-What are some of the salary expectations for slightly more senior and junior roles within the sector?

-What is the value you would bring to this role?

If you are looking to ask for a rise whilst staying in your current position, do research salaries for similar roles in the FE sector as well as the wider education sector. Do also look at the responsibilities as well as additional benefits such as professional development courses, flexible working, and child care support.

You might like to start a new spreadsheet to record your research. The more information you are able to gather, the more clear you will become on what you could expect. Completing some thorough research will help you to become more confident when having salary discussions.

You might find it helpful to speak with friends, family or colleagues who have successfully negotiated their pay before. Catherine has recently accepted a senior leadership role working for a leading FE College in the Midlands. Initially, she was terrified of conversations about money and felt anxious about negotiations. Catherine decided to share her concerns with a senior colleague who mentored her for many years. Catherine was able to express some of her worries and received useful tips in terms of how to negotiate for a rise. Her mentor even offered to role play the conversation with her. As a result, Catherine was able to ask for a more attractive salary package and successfully received it.

#Note the challenges: Our biggest obstacle is often the mindset we have. We lack confidence because we are not clear about what to expect. We feel awkward talking about money and we do not take the time to role play the conversation in advance. We may fear receiving a ‘no’. It can be a great idea to make a list of all the concerns and barriers you have. You may be concerned about not using the right language. You may fear facing rejection. You may procrastinate about researching. Once you have noted all the challenges, do think about at least one solution to each problem. As an example:

You might be worried about not finding the right words when negating for a higher salary. As a solution, you could make a script of some of the key points to cover and arrange a role play with a friend or a trusted colleague.

#Make a Plan A:  Many people find it helpful to create a Plan A. Do consider your preferences in addition to salary expectations. How many hours would you prefer to work on a weekly basis? Would you like to work from home and avoid time consuming travelling? Would your employer finance professional development courses or degree-level study? Would you like to have opportunities to travel? How important is flexible working for you? What is an attractive salary you could ask for?

#Develop a Plan B and a Plan C: Once you have thought about your most preferred scenario, it is time to think about less favourable options. You might find it helpful to develop a Plan B and note what you would still accept. This might not be your most ideal scenario, however, you would be able to deliver the role with commitment and feel engaged. Do consider options starting from your salary, working hours, flexibility to learning opportunities.  It is worthwhile to think about Plan C as well. This would represent conditions which you should not accept. Do prepare yourself for saying ‘no’ in case you find yourself in a Plan C situation.

#Consider the timing: Do consider carefully your employer’s situation. Is the College going through a particularly hard time? Is the senior leadership team tackling some unforeseen and complex challenges? If you would like to ask for a rise from your current employer, you should time your request to performance reviews. In your performance review meeting, you could explore the future if your request is granted. How would you continue to deliver? What additional difference would you make? How would you improve your skills if your request is approved? It is essential that you consider what additional responsibilities and commitments you are willing to take on.

#Take on a different perspective: By granting a salary rise, your employer will be investing in your future potential. Before your negotiation meeting, spend some time taking on your employer’s perspective. Why should they accept your request for a higher salary? If you were in their situation, would you give yourself a higher salary? Have you proven your skills and commitment to your employer?

Preparation will help you come across more confident. Do spend the time completing your research and preparing for your next salary negotiation.

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