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Is fear of rejection holding you back from getting a pay rise?

Almost three quarters (72%) of employees in the United Kingdom had not asked for an increase in salary in the past five years

A chronic ‘fear of rejection’ is preventing many Britons from plucking up the courage to ask for a pay rise, a study by international recruitment agency Randstad has found.

The survey found that almost three quarters (72%) of employees in the United Kingdom had not asked for an increase in salary in the past five years, with 35.1% of respondents citing fear of being turned down as the number one barrier when it comes to demanding more.

A further 34% said they hadn’t asked for a raise because they were afraid of how their bosses might react; while 29% were put off by the prospect of having to justify themselves to their employers.

Mark Bull, Randstad’s UK CEO, said that despite a shortage of professional skills in certain sectors, UK employees were not taking advantage of the situation to demand higher wages. Although the employment market is supposedly more open, Mr Bull believes that questions are being raised as to whether employers are creating the right working environment to retain staff and help them progress.

Alongside the study, Randstad has also published its top three tips when it comes to asking for a pay rise:

1) Get your timing right. Randstad advises that you find out when the budgets are agreed for the next calendar year and make sure you get your foot in the door at just the right time. Most companies have a set in stone policy as to when pay rises are agreed, and are unlikely to be flexible mid-term. If you want to ask for a pay rise outside the usual pay review cycle, you should emphasise to your boss that you know how unusual your request is. If you acknowledge your demands are atypical, you’re more likely to appeal to their better nature.

2) Do your research. Before you ask for a hike in salary, make sure that you know the industry standards and general expectations of your role. Look at similar positions in other organisations and if you feel you’re being underpaid and undervalued, use this to back up your demands for a raise. A well-researched case will make you appear professional and clued-up, and may well convince your manager you’re worth a pay rise.

3) Don’t undersell yourself. Randstad says that you should always have a list of examples which prove that you have gone above and beyond your job description, as this will help you build a powerful case in your favour. It’s hard to argue with numbers. Back up your request with hard facts, highlighting sales figures, extra revenue you’ve generated or any other performance-related statistics which prove you’re worth it.

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