How to get a juicy payrise in 2015 without relying on karma

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella astonished the world recently by suggesting that the best way for women executives to address the gender pay gap is to dial down their ego and to wait for Karma to deliver what they are due.[1]

There has been a strong backlash, especially as he failed to explain why Karma had not fixed the problem so far… and when it would finally be switched on to do so.

We have previously written on the subject of women negotiating their terms of employment, but the subject is relevant to all.[2]  For all those who are not prepared to wait for Karma to deliver what they are worth, here are 10 failsafe tips to help you:

  1. Start Early:  You need to have the conversation with your manager well before the formal process kicks in.  Give your manager time to put your proposal into the system.
  2. Blow your own trumpet:  Claim credit for your achievements and remind your manager what you have added to the bottom line this year.  Pay review time is not the time for modesty, but be careful not to overreach.
  3. Understand your future value:  What can you do for your manager next year that they will value?  How can you help exceed their performance goals?  What happens if you leave your current role? All great conversations to have.
  4. Understand your current value:  What are people with your qualifications, skills and expertise being paid at the moment?  How costly are you to replace?
  5. Be clear about what you want:  A specific proposal always beats a vague request for “a pay rise” or “more time off”.
  6. Be creative:  Money is not the only currency and if all you get is more money, half of your effort goes to the tax man.  Time-off, travel, healthcare, phones, advanced study, overseas trips, secondments, etc. might all be more valuable.
  7. Offer a trade:  Be clear about what you are going to do in return.
  8. Have a good BATNA:  What will you do if you don’t get what you want?
  9. Document your agreement:  Make sure you and your manager document what has been agreed, so that there’s no ambiguity about what you are due.
  10. Deliver on your side of the bargain:  It’s the start of next year’s conversation.

Remember: in business and in life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.  For more tips, download our whitepaper.  Happy negotiating.

Dr Matt Lohmeyer



[2] Smart negotiating for women –