Times are tough for UK workers. The government’s rules are not exactly easy to pin down, but workers are being hit hard in the pay-packet up and down the country – the need for a pay increase has never been stronger.
Even if you’ve managed to avoid being in this situation, if you are employed you will now be competing for pay rises in a much harsher world than before.
All companies are struggling in one way or another, and your much-needed pay rise is the very last thing on their priorities list.
It’s no good waiting around patiently for some boss to notice your plight – you need to go get that pay rise yourself. Let us show you how from our joint 20 years of experience in grabbing pay rises.
And if what you’re really after is more money, regardless of where that comes from, well… we have a few ideas for how you can give yourself a little income boost outside of your job too!
Why Are Wages So Low, Anyway?
Let’s quickly understand the big 5 reasons why you’re getting a raw deal from your wage:
#1 – You’re Trapped
You may not notice the pigeonhole you’ve been trapped in, but it’s there nonetheless.
You can only apply for jobs in your exact field of experience, unless you’re willing to first undergo years of retraining and then accept unrealistic pay cuts by entering at a lower level in a new career.
This problem is at least being somewhat recognised by the government in their doomed-to-fail campaign to help people retrain. Remember Fatima the ballerina?
For saying a ballerina could get help to retrain in cyber, they incurred the fury of the permanently furious on Twitter, but hey – at least the campaign got noticed.
#2 – Own Or Be Owned
A company exists to serve its owners, not its staff. Directors will prefer to prioritise the pay of the investors who own the company by raising dividends, over increasing their staff expense.
Unfortunately, choosing to make your money as an employee leaves you open to always coming second to the business owners when there is money to be passed around.
#3 – You’re One Of Many
There are too many people after the same jobs – a consequence of being a wealthy and successful country.
Supply and demand means your boss doesn’t feel pressured to give you a pay rise, because someone else will always do it for less.
#4 – Pay Rises Aren’t Really Rises
Inflation means that a pay rise of 1% is really a pay cut. These derisory 1% annual pay increases make you poorer and poorer the longer you stay in role.
#5 – Knowledge Isn’t Shared
Do you share information about your pay with your colleagues? Of course not – it’s taboo. But they’re almost certainly paid differently to what you are, even for a similar role.
When only the HR director knows who is paid what, employees allow themselves to be taken advantage of.
How To Engineer Yourself A Pay Rise
Hopefully you now know why you’re in such a bind.
As an employee you are totally at the mercy of other people to pass judgement on you favourably, whether an interviewer, a line manager, or the board of directors.
But there are 5 tried and tested methods that we have used and witnessed which swing the odds back in your favour.
Pay Rise Tip 1 – Switch Jobs Often
Most of the pay rises we took over the years were taken on interview day. It’s the only day you will have the power to negotiate as an equal.
If they want you, they’ll give you a good wage.
You are not yet dependant on them to provide your single income stream, so can walk away.
There are usually multiple possible employers that you can interview with until you find one who gives you what you need.
Pay Rise Tip 2 – If You Must Stay
If you can’t change jobs, or don’t want to, then you must get friendly with the decision makers.
The main disadvantage of a job is that all decisions around your future financial health are in the hands of a single randomly selected line manager.
Even if you get this person on-side, any requests to increase pay will often have to be cleared by the chain of command above them.
We’re not fans of this approach as it means you have to be seen to jump through hoops, and you have to spend as much time working on relationships and perception as you do on your job role.
Here we’re picturing those that wait until 9pm to send an email – which was saved as a draft several hours earlier!
Far better we think to move company every couple of years.
Pay Rise Tip 3 – Negotiate From A Position Of Strength
You’ll know if you’ve watched the channel before that we are both investors, with secondary income streams coming from the assets that we own.
Investing is usually thought of as a multi-decade project with no immediate effects, but it’s not true. An investment portfolio of only a few grand won’t allow you to retire, but it has other uses.
One of those uses is when it comes to negotiating a pay rise. If you have other income streams, or a growing pool of assets that you can sell parts of if required, it can give you a strong hand in any pay discussion with your boss.
If you can legitimately tell them that you’re not dependant on your salary to survive, you can lay down a pay rise demand as an ultimatum. Either they grant it, or you will leave.
In this scenario, your investments will keep paying the bills for several months until you can find another job.
Desperate people get taken advantage of! Those with sizable investment pots, however, can dictate their terms.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to invest. Our YouTube channel (see below) is crammed full of useful videos and you can fairly cheaply outsource it to a professional.
Pay Rise Tip 4 – Free Up Time To Retrain Or Hustle
Don’t be one of those guys who sits at their desk until 7pm hoping their boss will notice and give them Brownie Points.
Instead, leave on time and do something productive with your evenings. This could be retraining for a new career, or studying to get a qualification that lets you climb higher on your current career ladder.
Alternatively, you could use that time to establish an extra £100 a month income stream from something non-work related – and then once that’s established, go create another one.
These are called side-hustles, and it’s estimated that 1 in 4 people have at least one. They help pay the bills, and can even take off into big money-spinning businesses that can replace your job.
Check out this article next for side hustle ideas. People sat at their desks until 7pm each night are not helping themselves.
Pay Rise Tip 5 – Jobs That Pay Commission
Do you find yourself working really hard but not seeing this reflected on your pay slip?
As in, you’re paid the same regardless of whether you put in a shift, or barely lift a finger? What might work for you is a job that pays a commission on top of a salary.
Jobs like recruitment and sales work to this structure. You get paid a basic wage – which often isn’t great – but get rewarded chunky bonuses for each target that you hit.
The risks with these roles are that if you don’t hit those targets, the base salary is usually worse than you could get in a normal job, and you might even be asked to leave for underperforming.
But your pay is much more within your control if you are able to put in the effort.
All That Takes Time
Applying for new roles, building relationships at work, or establishing side hustles takes time, and maybe you just want to start making a little bit of extra money now.
There are a few ways you can make some extra money from home, like surveys, or getting a lodger; but the one we’ve found to be the most financially lucrative is Matched Betting.
Despite the name, Matched Betting is NOT gambling – it is a risk-free technique used to scoop up the cash incentives offered by bookmakers.
We tried it out ourselves and we each made over £500 a month extra income from it for just half an hour a day – and you could make a lot more if you devote more time to it.
You can read more about it here on the Matched Betting area of MoneyUnshackled.com.
A Word Of Caution
We’re not saying you should throw caution to the wind when asking for more money from your employer.
During these times of uncertainty, it might be best to just be grateful that you have an income at all. Maybe.
But if you think you can do better, or want to set yourself up to have that difficult conversation from a position of strength in the future, then hopefully we’ve given you some ideas for where to start!
Do you have any tips that might help others to negotiate a pay rise? Let us know in the comments below.
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