Your Route to the Top: Get a post-slump pay rise

Bump up your salary after the recession.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Override excuses. With budgets tighter than ever, pay rise requests can easily be argued away. Agree with your manager what criteria would merit a raise, set goals, then (once you've smashed them) share the proof. What choice do they have?

Build allies. Pay is rarely just down to our immediate boss. Who are your manager's key influencers? What do they think you are worth? Find them, target them, dazzle them.

Come to the rescue. Whatever your company's strategy for recovery is, align your efforts to it. It's hard to ignore someone who is bringing the business back to life.

Talk yourself up. Find ways to refer to your successes, eg, 'Something I learnt when negotiating our biggest deal was ...' As respect for you builds, so will your case for a raise.

Time your triumphs. According to psychologists, we tend to remember (and attach greater importance to) the last things we hear, see or experience in a sequence. Manipulate your manager's memory by regularly going the extra mile, but ensuring that big successes happen just before your pay review.

Sell the benefits. Whether it's a fresh burst of team motivation or renewed commitment to the three-year plan, explain what a better-paid you will bring to the business. People make decisions for their reasons, not yours.

Provide a reality check. Force your manager to imagine life without you. Try, 'I love my job, but I'm keen to progress, so if I don't see a change in my salary soon, I may need to start looking elsewhere'. Be prepared to follow through if they call your bluff.

Play hardball. When asked what level of reward you want, start with a figure at least 20% higher than you would accept.

Know your post-recession price tag. Understand not just your value in today's market, but also the value of your job. There's a difference. Do some research and come up with figures.

- The Mind Gym: Relationships is published by Little, Brown at £12.99 -

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