Thinking of asking your employer for a much-needed pay rise but just don’t have the confidence to do it in case you fall flat on your face? In a series of articles from ” by xxxx, we will be serialising the steps you can take to muster up the confidence and assertiveness to ask for what you deserve.

Extract taken from 'How to be Confident and Assertive at Work' by Suzanne and Bernard Potts.
Extract taken from ‘How to be Confident and Assertive at Work’ by Suzanne and Conrad Potts.

Some companies are good at implementing a fair and transparent remuneration policy, whereas others avoid the subject of pay and salary increases like the plague!

We often assume that our manager or the HR department should know that we deserve more money. They should be aware of our needs and expectations and any dissatisfaction we have over our lot. In fact, we even get cross when they appear unconcerned, oblivious, unaware of our efforts and our contribution. We expect people to be mind readers and close followers of our performance and achievements. We can get angry when they’re not and often feel sorry for ourselves or resentful towards them.

Some people are great at publicising their achievements, whilst others are worried about blowing their own trumpet for risk of appearing to boast. In this chapter we consider how to promote yourself respectfully to ensure you get noticed and acknowledged for your efforts.

We’d like you to think about a discussion you may be planning to have with your boss/HR, during which you want to raise the subject of your remuneration and ask if you feel any of these:

  • Nervous of asking in the first place.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • Concerned that they may not think you’re worth it.
  • Scared they might look for somebody cheaper.
  • Afraid that they’ll think you’re being too greedy.
  • Worried that they’ll give you more work/responsibility in return.
  • Cross because they should know that you’re entitled to more.
  • Unhappy because they just don’t seem to care.
  • Miserable that you’re not appreciated enough.
  • Angry because you know they’ll make promises and nothing will happen.
  • Frustrated the conversation will be a waste of time.
  • Resentful that you’re taken advantage of.
  • Do you find yourself saying any of the following?
  • “Oh no, it’ll be so embarrassing!”
  • “What if they say ‘No’ – I’ll feel dreadful.”
  • “They might not think I’m worth it.”
  • “What if they start to look for somebody cheaper?”
  • “They might expect me to do different shifts; I’d hate that.”
  • “They must know I’m unhappy.”
  • “They must know I’m underpaid.”
  • “Nobody cares about me.”
  • “It’ll be like it always is: they’ll say ‘We’ll see’ and do absolutely nothing.”
  • “They’ll never agree to it so why do I bother?”
  • “They want me to do more but aren’t prepared to pay for it.”
  • “If they don’t agree I’ll.

Solution steps – please allow 20 minutes to complete these steps

In order to be confident and assertive when you’re asking for a pay rise, follow the steps below one by one. You need to allow yourself
a quiet solitary 20 minutes to perform these steps today. Before you start have a notepad and pen handy.

Step One – Visualising how you want it to be

Imagine in your mind’s eye that:

You’re asking for a pay rise and it’s going well.

What do you see happening?

See your posture, facial expression, your gestures.

Listen to your voice, the tone, particularly the speed and pauses.

Listen to the tone of the conversation – what is being said?

See the effect of your assertion on the other person.

How does that make you feel?

Extract taken from ‘How to be Confident and Assertive at Work’ by Suzanne and Conrad Potts. Available at Amazon and all good bookstores.

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