Negotiating a salary increase

Negotiating a pay rise can be a delicate subject for many. Preparation is key in successfully conveying to your boss why you deserve an increased salary. But without doing your research first, your case may appear flimsy and unsupported, which might result in a negative outcome.
Remember that you are negotiating a salary increase, not demanding one, so consider the following points when you conduct your research.

What's your role worth?

Check job ads for roles similar to yours and see what the going rate is. Don't forget to take in to account the fact that different locations will offer different salaries; you might be making more if you work in a city than in a smaller town. Rates differ depending on the experience of the candidate too, so try and find a job with criteria that matches you.

Industry conditions

If your industry is has been hit by a tough economic climate then chances are employers across the board won't be offering higher pay. Research what competitor organisations offer their employees and set your salary increase ambitions accordingly,

What do you add to the company?

Some organisations may feel that it's easier and cheaper to replace you than to give you a pay rise. You need to indicate exactly what value you add to the company. A good time to ask your boss would be after a period that you have consistently brought about excellent results. Highlight any new skills and experience to show you have grown in the role.

Proper research will give you confidence

If you have plenty of information to back up your claim you won't feel that what you're asking for is unrealistic. If you talk to your boss with no real evidence, they will think you're just enquiring and can quite easily tell you ‘no'. It's important not to be over-confident though, make it clear you are putting your case forward but understand it will need time for consideration.
You should also be prepared for your boss to propose a counter-offer, so it might be worth suggesting a higher figure (within reason) initially as this gives you a bit of leeway to negotiate with. Use your research to work out the average salary for your profession and work from there.
If, however, your research shows that you are getting paid the normal amount for what you do but you still feel you're underpaid you will need to look at this from a different angle. Why are you worth more than the average salary? It might be that you need to look at a higher level role if you think your skills and experience aren't being used appropriately.
Why not browse Michael Page's jobs to aid your research when you're looking into negotiating a salary increase?