Thursday 25 November 2021

Asking for a pay rise at work

Without a doubt, money worries are one of the greatest causes of anxiety, stress, depression and other mental health issues. A study undertaken by the Royal College of Psychiatrists showed that “one in four people with a mental health problem is also in debt”. Struggling to pay the rent or mortgage or keeping up with the household bills can be a huge burden, especially for the elderly or adults with children to provide for. If you are constantly trying to make ends meet, over time you could start to experience both physical and mental symptoms of stress such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Poor sleep
  • Helplessness
  • Headaches or stomach problems
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Bouts of crying

All of this will not only make you feel physically and mentally unwell, but it can also affect you working to the best of your ability. You might even find it’s putting a strain on relationships with your family and friends.

If you’re employed, a pay rise might help you to resolve some of your immediate money worries. Although you might feel nervous about asking your manager for a pay rise, imagine how much weight it would take off your shoulders if they were to say yes! So, it’s definitely worth plucking up the courage to ask for a raise.

How to ask for a pay rise

If you want to start earning the salary you feel you deserve, there are several ways to go about it to ensure you stand a better chance.

1. Choose your timing well. If the company has just made redundancies for example, it might be an idea to wait a while.

2. Demonstrate your value. Gather as much evidence as you can that will prove your worth. Have you increased sales? Have you brought new clients on board? Have you taken on additional responsibilities? Also, let your boss know what you intend to achieve with the company in the future so they feel reassured that you won’t start resting on your laurels once you receive a raise.

3. Research your worth. It’s a good idea to do some prior research about how much professionals in the same industry and similar job roles earn.

4. Have a precise figure in mind. Don’t mention another colleague’s salary as this can be frowned upon. You might also want to request a figure slightly higher than what you’d really like, just so there’s some room for negotiation.

5. Prepare and practice the conversation beforehand, and try not to be apologetic when you ask for your pay rise.

Friday 19 November 2021

How to set boundaries without upsetting your boss

Juggling a challenging job and workload with your personal life can often be a huge pressure. These days it seems to be the norm to 'work hard, play hard', yet this kind of pressure can be doing long-term damage to your health.

So when you're just about keeping your head above water and suddenly, you're expected to take on an even greater workload, how do you react? in the back of your mind, you might be thinking you're not earning enough money to take on this extra responsibility or you simply don't have enough hours in the day to get everything done. This can leave you feeling angry, resentful or stressed which is sure to impact your mental and physical wellbeing. A study published by The Lancet showed that "employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours".

Setting boundaries

Often we worry about saying no to additional requests from management for fear of losing our jobs or creating an unpleasant atmosphere in the workplace, so we continue to take on more work than we can realistically handle. Once work starts to impinge on our personal life or wellbeing, it's time to start setting boundaries.

Before you approach your boss, it's important to understand what your priorities are, such as enjoying precious family time and feeling physically and mentally healthy. This way when you do have to set boundaries, any feelings of guilt will have been diminished prior to the conversation.

A report published by Udemy shows that employee boundaries are often being crossed with 59% of managers feeling pressurised into working through their lunch breaks.

Don't respond in haste

If you've received an unreasonable request from your boss asking you to take on more work or to work longer hours, in the heat of the moment you could be tempted to reply in haste, especially if your stress levels are already high. however, it's important to consider the request before responding.

Arrange a one-to-one meeting with your boss so that you can discuss your current workload and explain how their request would impact your personal life and current workload. Also, if you offer an alternative solution, they could suggest that one of your colleagues takes over an existing project while you focus on the new task.

Be clear and polite

If you feel like you need to take some time to assess a situation or request, then do so. It's so important to respond in a polite manner while being firm and clear at the same time. If you want to offer an explanation, then that's fine but keep it concise.

Remember that by setting boundaries with your boss, you are respecting yourself and your feelings as well as protecting your mental wellbeing. And although you may fear a negative outcome. there's a good chance that your boss will also have more respect for you and be more considerate in the future when allocating tasks. In the long term this can lead to healthier and more authentic relationships in the workplace.