10 Ways to Increase Your Salary (Even if You Suck at Negotiating Pay)

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Knowing how to ask for a pay rise is not easy, yet it is an essential component of your career success and progression. At some point, you'll need to negotiate a salary increase, either in your current job or the next position. Therefore, it's always good to take stock of what you're worth in the market and prepare to discuss your salary increase. This article will show you ten insanely easy ways to increase your chances of successful salary increase. But first...

What can you do with a salary increase?

A salary increase can be one of the most significant financial changes to your life, and the benefits go beyond the value of a higher salary.

It can also be life-changing well before considering major purchases, especially in reducing the gap between the national average and the minimum wage. 

According to the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman, the national minimum wage in Australia is $19.84 per hour or $753.80 per week ($39,197.60 per year). Casual employees get at least 25% casual loading.

Compare the above with the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It revealed that the full-time average salary is more than $85,000 per year, which is more than double the national minimum wage. The Australian Council of Trade Unions is advocating for the rate of $20.53 per hour – a 3.3 pc increase.

A salary increase will help you pay off debt, save more money, and improve your quality of life. It will also benefit your long-term savings by increasing the superannuation contributions your employer makes.

Therefore, the sooner you secure a salary increase, the greater your retirement fund will become.

10 insanely simple ways to increase your salary

1. The golden rule of timing

Ask yourself if this is the appropriate time to ask for a salary increase. 

So what’s the best time? 

It is always best to ask for a salary increase on or before an anniversary, at the end of the financial year or before the budget is signed off.

2. Consider your responsibilities and achievements

Before you ask for a salary increase, consider the following;

  • What have you achieved in your role, and can you provide proof?
  • Have you taken on more responsibilities in the current position? 
  • Can you demonstrate greater efficiency?
  • Can you demonstrate an increase in revenue or performance?
  • Conduct a market survey and see if you are being underpaid for your role, level of experience or skills.

If you can justify some or most of these factors, then you really deserve a pay rise. Approach your boss in a business-like manner with confidence, and don’t let your emotions drive your behaviour. 

Emotions only make it messy, and more than likely, you’ll not end up with a positive outcome. Remember to always remain professional. 

3. Convince your employer you’re worthy of a salary increase.

Learn how to demonstrate facts with tangible information and proof of your achievements.

You can provide copies of positive client feedback, peer or management emails, reports, achievements and results. Show proof of how valuable your role is in the market with information backed by reputable industry associations.

Such proof adds weight to your request.

Always remember to conduct yourself in a business-like manner by personifying company values and behaviours to increase your chances of a salary increase.

4. Prepare well in advance

Collect all the factual information, supporting documents, and past performance appraisals as discussed above to demonstrate your ability and value to the organisation.

Think through the process before the negotiation. Visualise how you would like the conversation to flow. Write a script if you have to, but keep it simple using precise language to articulate your points.

Research the industry and salary surveys to find out how much the position and your current level of experience are worth. Market research demonstrates that your request is fair and reasonable.

5. Be professional

When you’re ready, ask for a 20-30 minutes meeting with your boss.

Talk less during the meeting, but exude confidence and keep to the facts. Use clear and concise language to put your points across. Use positive and active language like; “I’m committed to the future of this company…”, “I believe as a business we are creating a successful and valuable team…”, “I believe my results justify my salary increase….”

Remember not to get emotional, but stick to the facts.

6. Upskill to remain relevant

The workplace today is moving fast with new technologies. Digital disruption is something every professional should not ignore.

The good news is that the rapidly advancing technology also creates valuable opportunities to increase your salary. 

It also means continually upskilling to meet the rapidly evolving needs of your employer.

7. Learn new skills outside work

Besides your current skills, you also have to learn additional skills outside your job.

You can learn through online courses, taking the certification, or learn through DIY style. There are tons of courses out there that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Learning additional skills means cutting down on Netflix and reality TV shows every night to learn something new.

Maybe you have a busy schedule and hectic family lives, so finding time can be challenging. But you can find ways to read, learn, or take a course to improve your knowledge.

For example, There are numerous digital marketing free online certifications from reputable names that can enhance your knowledge and help you learn new skills.

This will add value to your worth immediately, and you can even use the new skill to make extra money in your spare time.

Also, look at what kind of skills you need for your next level job position. See where you’re missing some experience or skills. Also, mastering a new skill is easier in some professions than in others.

8. Nurture your soft skills

Technical expertise is important but do not neglect your soft skills. Soft skills enable you to fit in a workplace. They include your attitude, personality, motivation, flexibility, and manners. Soft skills are so vital that they are often the reason employers decide whether to hire, keep, or promote an employee.

Soft skills are therefore instrumental in climbing the career ladder and helping you negotiate for a bigger salary. They are skills you can use to build your influence across the company and provide remunerable value.

Particularly, strong communication skills are valuable because they let you engage efficiently with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders.

9. Look for another job in your field

What if you’re not getting the salary increase you want? Start looking elsewhere. Don’t be afraid of being labelled a job hopper because moving companies for a better opportunity is not a bad thing at all.

Improving your skills, showing your accomplishments, researching and asking for a salary increase might not be enough to get a pay raise in your current job. Sure, you might get a 1% -3% raise, but it may not amount to much financially.

If that is the case, then it’s time to look elsewhere and find a job that will pay you better and hopefully make you happier.

However, ensure your salary requests are realistic. For example, if the market value for the job is $60,000 per year, then don’t ask for $120,000.

The millennials get a bad job wrap with job-hopping mentally and always taking a new job offer. Still, it is completely necessary if your current employer doesn’t value your input.

10. Go where the money is

In today’s market, some specialty fields and industries are outperforming others, creating the potential for salary differentials. Healthcare workers, e-commerce specialists, and real estate agents are among Australia’s emerging jobs of 2021.

According to LinkedIn, demand in transferable skills, care economy, and acceleration of remote work are the three major trends driving the Australian jobs landscape now.

Switching to an industry where there is high demand for your skills and qualifications can fast-track salary growth.

Increase your earning potential – like crazy

Whether you’re employed, joining a new company, or you’re your own boss, you need to utilise your skills where they’re appreciated the most.

However, make a conscious effort to invest in your skills and develop new valuable ones. And you’ll always increase your earning potential – all the time.

Open a savings account, invest your money and always have it ready to make the most of your increased earnings.


Q1. What is a good increase in salary?

A 3% to 5% salary increase seems to be the average. However, it varies mainly by one’s experience with the organisation and skill set. Some raises may include non-cash benefits such as gym memberships, education sponsorships etc.

Q2. How can I double my salary?

Whether you’re with your current employer, a new employer or your own boss, always utilise your skills where they’re appreciated the most.

Make a conscious effort to invest in your existing skills and develop new skills. They will help increase your earning potential over time.

Q3. What is a good salary by age?

Anyone earning $180,000 a year is one of the highest-paid workers in Australia. About 75% of workers earn less than $78,624 a year before tax, and 25% make less than $660 a week. Around 50% of employees earn between 660% and $1512 per week.

The average weekly salary by age in Australia is;

  • 20 & under: $383.70
  • 21 to 34: $1,127.60
  • 35 to 44: $1,503.70
  • 45 to 54: $1,544.20.

Q4. At what age should I make 100k?

An annual income of $100k/year means $1923/week; If you are aggressive enough, you can make this amount between the age 40 years and 55 years, depending on your skills, experience, and industry.

$100k/year is above average salary, and you should be able to live a good life and save some money if you’re frugal enough.

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