More Work, But No Pay Rise? What’s Going On!

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Have you ever been pushed to take on more responsibilities with no promise of a pay rise? Well, it happens more frequently than you might think!

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or demotivated, but hey - on the bright side, your manager thinks you’re capable. With that in mind, it's important how you approach the situation to build your case for greater benefits or compensation.

So what are the best steps to take in order to leverage this?

1. Think long-term

While this may seem daunting, focus on any long-term benefits and how you can use the experience and responsibilities to grow your career – whether in your current company or the next one.

Make sure you deliver on expectations to show that you are capable to step up when needed to deliver something. These long-term skills will ultimately prove to be more valuable than any short-term salary increase.

2. Keep a list of extra tasks

It is a good idea to document the extra tasks you do so that when review or promotion time comes you can point to clear examples of what you have done during negotiations with your manager. A list of additional tasks over the past few months will go a lot further than negotiating with a list from the last few weeks. Highlight these benefits and – most importantly – explain how it benefited the company. For example, how did it save money, or generate more sales? Relating your work to tangible benefits can only strengthen your position.

3. Consider other benefits

Although we all want more, monetary compensation is not the only reward available. In your salary negotiations there is no harm in asking about other benefits, such as flexible working hours, more annual leave, or working one day a week from home. Every organization has different policies, so do some research first to discover what may be available to you.

4. Ask for career development

If some of your new responsibilities are outside your comfort zone, then ask for additional education or seek out mentoring to support your career development. This could be through further studies or qualifications, or soft-skills coaching. Often a mentor can also help you grow both your career and personal aspirations.

5. Ask for the pay rise anyway

There is no harm in asking for a meeting with your manager to discuss a salary review. Tell your manager in advance that you wish to discuss a review based on your extra job responsibilities. At the meeting, start by sharing your achievements and how they have benefited the company or team. And remember that list of extra tasks you’ve been documenting? Pick out some highlights and the benefits to support your case.

If the pay rise is not possible, ask for a timeline.

At the end of the day, having the courage to ask shows that you value working for this company, as well as valuing your own time and work ethic. You have nothing to lose!

If in the worse case scenario your proposed raise gets rejected, remember that the extra responsibilities are the best performance indicator. You are good at what you do, and it will pay off eventually.

Peter Eric Jobsen

Career coach, helping people learn, grow and develop in their work life.

2 min read

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