If you are unhappy with your current salary, it may feel like changing jobs is the only way to get more money. But you do have other options.
Negotiate your existing salary
Your salary probably isn’t set in stone. Many employers will expect you to negotiate and you have nothing to lose by asking. Spend some time preparing your case for a higher salary, make sure to consider both your own performance and the market rate for your role, so that you can be fully informed when you approach your employer.
During a negotiation, stay professional and calm, remind your manager of the successful projects you have worked on recently, especially if they have brought new business into the company.
Present your manager with evidence of the current market rate for your role. The Hays Salary Checker can help you understand typical salaries for your job, taking into account factors like location and level. If your salary comes out near the bottom of the salary range, you should have a good case for a pay rise.
Train for a better role
It may be that the only way to get a higher salary at your existing workplace is by getting a promotion. If you are happy working at your current company, you could identify an area in which you could add value and ask your manager for a promotion plan. Many employers are happy to support you with training, either by funding it, giving you opportunities to act up in a more senior role or giving you time to attend college or work on your coursework.
Supplement your income with a side gig
If you have the time and the inclination, you can supplement your income – and increase your experience – with a side hustle, as is it sometimes known. You could work freelance in an area where you already have the skills. If you are an accountant, for example, you could spend a few hours a week supporting start-up businesses or charities.
Working for yourself means you will build up skills in a wider range of areas than just the core skills required for your job. You will need to concentrate on some sales, networking and marketing to build up your client base, but these transferable skills will be a boost to your main career and will help you negotiate a new salary with your current employer or move on to a new role elsewhere.
If you are not sure what your next move should be, temping doesn’t just buy you time, it helps you build up valuable skills and experience. In some industries, like procurement and technology, temps can earn a lot more per day than permanent employees. You may feel that due to the higher pay, sacrificing the benefits of a permanent role would be an advantage in the short to medium-term.
In the meantime, you have the chance to try out a new role and work for a new company, which can you help decide on your next permanent move.
Look for a new job
There is always the possibility that your employer might not agree to your request for a pay rise. If you have carefully considered all the options and still feel there is no chance of a salary increase, looking for a new job may be the right choice for you.
Be confident that it is the right decision for your future and focus your energies on looking for that pay rise outside of your current business. Looking for a new job while you are employed is a good position to be in, as you can take the time to find a role that suits you and offers the salary, location and benefits you desire.
By exploring these options, you will find the means to secure the salary you want. If you are unsure what your current salary should be, or what kind of increase to expect in your industry, take a look at our salary checker tool, or get in touch with your local consultant for a confidential discussion about your career goals.
About this author
Beginning life in 1968 with just a handful of employees, Hays how has over 7,800 recruiting specialists worldwide, including 1,800 in the UK. Our consultants are experts in their field, helping professionals advance their careers, and organisations find the right talent.