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CAREER

3 Things To Help You Talk Pay Raise

Know what to take with you when you negotiating your pay raise

BY Naledi K

May 17, 2021, 11:50 AM

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As much as it is an unfortunate reality - having a job when you live in South Africa where the unemployment rate was a scary 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020 - is a privilege reserved for a select few at the moment.
 
Having a really good job that you went to school for, in a company that values you in totality is equivalent to having a gold-horn, rainbow-coloured tail unicorn, it is that rare! All this makes us feel super grateful to have jobs which often puts us in a disadvantaged position because companies end up treating us like “grateful employees” instead of the valuable, deserving employees we actually are.

This means, when it comes to negotiating your salary, one has to treat it as war and prepare for it as one would do for a hectic battle. Next time you walk into that annual meeting to talk about your raise (sometimes you will have to initiate this conversation…), at least make sure you’ve done one or all of the following things to ensure you are standing in a better position to emerge victoriously!
Research is the best thing to do before making demon-slaying moves.

Do Your Research

This is the best thing to do before or when you are making demon-slaying moves. Find out the average pay that your peers bag as their annual gross payments. Do your research about your company, their payment policies and their annual profits. Research your industry and companies like the one you work for (in SA and internationally) in terms of what they pay their employees and what they do to compensate for the money the employee deserves but they seemingly can’t afford to give. Maybe they add more leave days, maybe you work more flexible hours, maybe they offer you free essential services like a therapist or legal counsel, maybe they have free children day-care… The list of possibilities is endless, do your research and negotiate from a place of knowledge.

Have The Inside Scoop

The biggest misconception crippling employees is the belief in the myth that they are not supposed to share their payslips with other employees within their company. This is a widely practised myth, so I don’t even blame you for thinking it’s true or legal. However, it's a lie, not only can y’all share that info amongst yourselves, it is illegal for your company to prohibit you from doing so.

The law in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act states that ‘every employee has the right to discuss his or her conditions of employment with his or her fellow employees, his or her employer or any other person.’
Of course, you have to be sensitive in how you go about it - other people do have a right not to share that info - but getting this info will help you a great deal because you’ll most likely find that a person you do the same job as, get a few thousand rands more than you, dispensing on when they were hired, their age, qualification, race or negotiation skills among other things. 

So gather your ammunition, put it on the table (probs wise to protect your sources if you can), open that debate and then state your case.
The single greatest ammunition you have is you.

Toot Your Own Horn

The single greatest ammunition you have is you. You are brilliant! Otherwise, they wouldn’t have hired you and “invested” in your growth. If you have annual KPAs (key performance area) this is the time to show your boss how well you do your job, how much you’ve improved since you started and how much potential for growth there is for you still. State your case and highlight the unique qualities you bring to the role you play in the company or how rare your skills are (and how in-demand they are based on things like posts for the same job at other companies.)

Be assertive and remain respectful but get it done sis, get your bag!

Read: 6 Lifechanging CV Hacks