It’s in 2021. Things may still look dicey for the world, but the market is improving rapidly in the world of tax accountancy.
There’s no doubt that last year, your world shifted quite significantly. You probably worked from home, conducting most of your meetings online.
You were busy, but you were independent - working from the comfort of home instead of the confines of an office.
As much as some may love this new, more relaxed way of working, it comes with its own challenges. Without the office camaraderie and networkability, staying visible with your boss and peers become a more arduous task.
If you want to rise through the ranks, securing a pay rise in the age of COVID may seem difficult, but it is achievable - if you follow some simple advice and ask yourself these questions:
#1 How is the firm/company doing?
Asking for a raise in a pandemic means you have to consider the context carefully. Has your business lost a lot of clients recently? Have they made any redundancies? Are they recruiting? If most decisions come back to revenue, investing more in their staff may not be a priority for the business.
Above all, tread carefully, and do your due diligence first. “It can come across as insensitive to still ask for an increase when the company is in survival mode”, says Julia Rock, founder of Rock Career Development.
#2 Can you prove you’ve levelled up?
Take stock of your achievements. Have you saved or made the firm significant amounts of money?
How have you been received by your clients and peers? Would they have good things to say about you?
Draw up a clear picture of the last 6-12 months, including any challenges or obstacles you’ve overcome. If you’ve been consistent, you’re more likely to get a raise.
Keep a list of your work accomplishments. Share your wins regularly with your boss so that by the time you get to asking for a raise, they will be more likely to think you deserve one.
#3 Do you have positive communications with your boss?
If you were already having discussions about your positive performance pre-COVID, then chances are you’re still in good standing, provided the business hasn’t been too drastically affected.
With remote work now a norm for all of us, think about how you adjusted to the pandemic and navigated the challenges of working from home. Did you continue to speak to your boss as much as before?
How have you been able to take on extra responsibility, or make things smoother for the team? The demonstration will fuel your raise that you’re a positive influence on the team.
#4 What’s your financial picture?
How much do you want to ask for? Review your financial picture in light of your current salary, contributions you’ve made to the company/firm and intended lifestyle over the next few years.
Getting the figure is important because you’re likely to be asked what you feel you are worth, or the percentage increase in your salary that you hope for. If you can track that percentage increase back to the money you’ve already brought into the business, your boss will be able to see that keeping you on with a raise is more valuable than potentially losing you.
Now you’re confident you’re on steady ground for the raise, it’s time to ask for it.
The timing of your ask is critical:
Schedule in a meeting during your boss’s quieter periods, when a significant challenge has just been overcome or when you know that cashflow is excellent. Your boss will be on a high, and therefore more receptive to your request.
Be prepared to negotiate:
If you ask for a certain percentage pay rise but get offered a slightly lower one, that is still a win.
If you’ve done your research, chances are you can show your boss examples of competitors that are offering similar salaries to the one you’ve requested.
Remember, the worst they can say is no. Don’t let a rebuttal deject you - if you continue to serve the business as you have been, there’s no harm in asking again in 6 months. Continue to show up, be consistent, and track your wins.
Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!