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Coaches Diary: Matt Learns An Essential Skill – How To Get A Pay Rise!


Matt looked directly into my eyes and told me that he wanted a pay rise. Telling me, however, was one thing – confronting his boss with the same words was proving much more difficult; Coach Olivia Stefanino shares her latest casebook notes.

Having worked with the same accountancy practice for more than three years, Matt felt he was being taken for granted by his boss. Worse, Matt had recently been looking through the job ads in his local newspaper and he was beginning to realise that with his qualifications, he could be earning significantly more.

I asked Matt why he felt he deserved a pay increase. Like most people faced with the same question, Matt was quick to respond with a wish list of things he wanted in life.

“I should be getting on the property ladder soon and to get a decent sized house, I will need to get a large mortgage, which in turn means that I need to be earning a bigger salary!”

Matt also admitted that he was envious of some of his friends who were going on an extreme sports holiday to Australia later in the year. Had he been earning more money, he too could have accompanied his mates on the trip-of-a-lifetime.

Gently, I pointed out to Matt that he was providing me with all the reasons why he wanted a pay rise but that he had not given me a reason for why he deserved one.

“Look at it from your employer’s perspective,” I said. “Your employer is paying you to do a job and you both agreed from the outset what work you would do and how much salary you would receive for doing it. What’s changed?”

“Also, in order for your employer to raise your salary,” I continued, “you will need to demonstrate either that you are doing more now than called for in your original contract or you will need to show that you will be worth more to him in the future.”

Seeing matters from his employer’s point of view was clearly something of a novelty for Matt. However, from this new angle Matt began to see that demanding more money while giving nothing in return was likely to achieve little other than alienating his boss, who would be likely to perceive him as a greedy whiner.

We then explored the possibility of Matt winning new business for the practice. In the last year, Matt acknowledged that he had already brought in £30,000 of new business to the business and he knew that with a little more focus he could easily treble that figure!

Again, I asked Matt to put himself in the position of his boss. “Imagine one of your employees coming to you and offering to bring in thousands of pounds’ worth of new business.

“Wouldn’t you be impressed at that employee’s enthusiasm particularly if he had already proved he was capable of the task? Would you accept this employee’s suggestion that he be paid commission on new business brought in to the company?”

“Of course,” responded Matt. “And I would feel relieved that I was only having to pay on results rather than promises!”

Matt was already beginning to see himself in a more entrepreneurial guise. By generating new business for his boss, Matt could also generate more income for himself, thus creating a long term win-win situation.


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