You may feel okay about where you are at work, but being really satisfied with your job and your income plays a big role in having a good life. Only 13 per cent of Australian women have ever asked their boss about a pay rise or bonus, but surprisingly those who did, actually found it easier than they thought.

The secret: prepare, have a plan, learn how to negotiate and be assertive without being aggressive.

Do your research. Find out what your job/role/responsibilities are worth. Check out similar positions being advertised and career sites that show comparable salaries for various industries.

Prepare for the conversation. List your responsibilities, key projects you’ve worked on, specific achievements, and tasks you’ve taken on over and above your job description. Work out the pay increase you’d like, then arrange a specific time to discuss your role and salary. Be clear what the meeting is for.

State your case. Many women deliver long-winded justifications for the raise. Don’t do that. Be specific about your case, stop talking and be prepared for this range of outcomes.

1. Your boss says yes and you start working out how to use all that extra cash.

2. Your boss needs time to think about it. In this case, you need to set a specific time frame by which you expect to have an answer. Whether it is a counter offer, feedback or another round of discussions, a good benchmark is about two weeks.

3. Your boss says no. Rather than getting angry, graciously indicate that you’re disappointed and ask if there are any specific reasons why. Sometimes the reasons have nothing to do with you, but rather reflect the company’s cash flow issues etc.

If there is no valid reason or there is a problem with your performance, ask your employer what would need to happen for your pay rise to be approved. If your boss is not prepared to give you any indication or clarity around what you need to do for a pay rise, maybe it’s time to look for a new job.


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