Even high-flyers don't like asking for more

Feb 22 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

If you don't like asking for a pay rise, you're not alone. Even high-flyers earning six-figure salaries find asking for more money nerve-wracking, with only half having confidence in their ability to request a raise.

A survey conducted by website TheLadders.com has found that even having a salary range that tops $100,000 does not necessarily mean you're good at asking for more.

While more than seven out of 10 said that they have asked for a pay rise and six out of 10 that their efforts have met with a positive outcome, only one in five said that they had managed to walk out with a better package every time they had asked.

But happily for their employers, both men and women in this earning range said they don't tend to change jobs in order to get more money - only four per cent said that they would leave for a better deal elsewhere.

It also emerged from the survey that only half of the executives felt they have the confidence in their abilities to request a raise, perhaps due to the perception among half of those surveyed that their management is unwilling to entertain such discussions.

Negotiating a pay rise, it seems, is all about planning and detail. Those who have asked for and received raises have done so by making a case and highlighting their accomplishments and contributions to their employer.

Almost two-thirds said they presented their case, followed by one in seven (14 per cent) who conducted a market assessment of salaries and went into their boss to discuss the situation.

One in 10 (eight per cent) chose the moments following a significant company success or major win to request a raise and seven per cent first solicited a competitive offer and then leveraged it to state their case.

But as a survey of British bosses found recently, they might do better waiting until Wednesdays before asking for a raise.

The survey, by recruitment firm Office Angels, found that more than three-quarters of managers say Wednesday is the day to ask them for a pay rise, the logic being that by Wednesday, the boss is settled into the week, but not too worn out to deal with pay rise requests or meetings about departmental budgets or staff numbers.

As Marc Cenedella, CEO of TheLadders.com, said, "Negotiating a raise is a learned skill. As evidenced by these survey results, researching and building the business case that demonstrates your value to your employer puts you in the best bargaining position."