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8 Things *Not* To Say To Your Boss If You Want A Pay Raise

'How come [insert name] earns more than me?'
PHOTO: istockphoto

Knowing how to ask for a pay rise can be a tricky affair. And while we've already covered off what to say and how to approach the conversation, we haven't touched on all the things you should avoid in a salary chat with your boss.

We spoke to various experts to figure out the eight things you should never say when asking for a raise...

  1. "You haven't recognized my achievements."

    Sally Bibb, author of The Strengths Book: Discover How to Be Fulfilled in Your Work says sentences like this are "subtle accusation" and are "likely to rile your boss because no one likes to be criticised or accused." Keep your tone neutral, and be careful about using any words that might point the finger.
  2. "She earns more than me, and I have just as much responsibility."

    "There may be things you don't know about your officemate so you've immediately gone in with a weak argument," Sally says. "Also you're implying that you're being unfairly treated." Ben, CEO and co-founder of Tempo agrees: "What other people in the business are paid has nothing to do with you," he says. "Taking this approach will more than likely damage your chances of getting what you want."
  3. "I need more cash for…"

    "You might really need the cash," Pip Jamieson from The Dots says, "but you'll stand a much better chance of landing a pay rise if you frame the conversation on what value you bring to the business."
  4. "If I don't get a raise, I'll quit."

    Ben says that making threats if you're not actually prepared to leave, or have any other options lined up, can be playing with fire. And Pip agrees: "In the end, ultimatums rarely work in your favor," she says. "A little insight into managersif you ask for a pay rise, the first thing they'll do is worry they might lose youso you don't need to say it!"
  5. "It's been over a year since my last pay raise."

    While most companies do try to build in small annual increases, it's not always the case. Pip says: "Simply asking for a pay rise because it's been over a year won't guarantee you get it. Again, focus on all the amazing things you do for the company and why you think you're now worth morethis will be far more effective."

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  6. "I know my last performance review didn't go so well, but..."

    You're never in the best position to ask for more money if you're not performing. Pip suggests focusing on "nailing the next month, proving to your manager that you're actually a complete rockstar and then asking for a raise. People have short memories, and you really can turn things around in a month if you put your mind to it!"
  7. "Can I talk to you right now?"

    "You'll stand the best chance of securing a pay raise if your boss is in a good mood," Pip says, "so don't grab them at a moment when they're busy and/or not expecting to chat." Ben agrees and suggests planning the conversation around high points in your career "say, after getting great feedback on a project or closing a big deal."

  8. "I want (insert huge salary over market rate here)."

    Especially if it might be over what your boss him/herself is earning! Pip says: "Businesses will typically work within market salaries, so do your research around what the market rate for your role is, and benchmark that way."
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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.