Should I ask for a pay rise?

Should I ask for a pay rise?

 28 Jul 2020


Careers have stalled amid the Covid-19 crisis. There have been pay cuts, promotions have been put on hold and there is talk of resourcing issues and restructuring. The threat of redundancy has reared its ugly head after a number of years of growth. So, what does this mean for you if you were due a pay rise or genuinely feel that your worth has been undervalued?


A bitter pill

Unfortunately, I don’t have great news! Given that most organisations have had to drastically re-think their figures, examining costs very carefully and looking closely at cash flow projections, it certainly wouldn’t be diplomatic to ask for a salary increase right now unless there are exceptional circumstances -  you’re likely to be met with a flat “no” and it could even damage your career standing if you do it clumsily or are felt to be insensitive to market conditions. It is a bitter pill to swallow if you feel you are genuinely below market rate, but you may have to play the waiting game.


How to improve your salary package

As a short term measure, look at other ways to improve your overall package. If you are looking to get more money in, does your firm pay overtime that you could put yourself forward for? Also make sure you are taking advantage of your full package of benefits. Many firms now have a comprehensive suite of benefits to choose from including discounts and vouchers to use at many high street stores, cycle to work scheme, dental and optician schemes, health schemes, free flu jabs, commission schemes etc. You may be able to save money by signing up for some of these rather than funding privately.


The bigger picture

Can you work at longer term improvement by doing some extra studying for professional qualifications and asking the firm to support you via a funded training package? This way, you will be improving your career prospects through gaining qualifications. Or, if that isn’t possible, can you volunteer to get involved in different work that will enhance your prospects e.g. increasing your exposure to more complex work, liaising with clients, management of staff etc.


Be ready

Finally, do remember that this downturn is short-lived. The market always bounces back and when it does you want to be ready to take advantage. If you have shown that you are commercially aware, and have continued to perform well, and may even have picked up or started studying towards another qualification along the way, your firm certainly won’t want to lose you and you will be in a much stronger position to negotiate an improved salary package.


If you would like to discuss your own situation, do get in contact with Cathy for a confidential and informal chat on 020 3303 0020 or email



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