I'm writing this piece because I'm thinking of asking my boss for a raise, which in this current seems a bit selfish.

About 6 months ago I started working in a small manufacturing company that makes air quality monitors. I was just at the end of finishing my PhD and my interview was my first real experience of salary negotiations. I was flustered when they asked me what I wanted and they ended up giving me 32,000, which I took because my previous living salary was 12k so this was a big jump. I wasn't a complete expert in te field but felt a little under cut but as this was just at the start of the pandemic, who knew when I would get another opportunity.

Fast forward to today and I love my job. I really like the people who I work with and there about 6 people in the company (including the boses) and im heavily involved in the air quality side of it. I've had a niggling feeling for a while that I'm being underpaid for what I do and for the qualifications I have but said I'd wait until I'm permanent to bring it up.

Well I've recently just passed my 6 months probation period and was wondering if anyone had any helpful advice on how might be the best way to approach asking for a higher wage. I feel as if I should have been on close to 40k because I now have a better idea of what my market value is as a PhD graduate with specific laboratory skills (something I wasnt really aware of before the interview)

Were in the middle of a big expense period building a new lab which I will be co-running and helping develop new products so I can imagine asking for more money might be inappropriate at this time.

Anyone any experience in something similar where they originally low balled themselves. I get along well with my bosses but am not sure if asking for money is appropriate at this time.

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    what @gnat linked up (and I was about to ha), yes, covid goes on but it's also less of a shock now, more of that's the new reality. So proceed as usual regarding your raise. – Tymoteusz Paul Oct 21 at 20:40
  • Hi apologies, the country is Ireland and I live in Dublin. The real push for this is because I'm at a stage where I want to start saving for a house which would be very difficult on 32000. Is it unreasonable to ask for an 8000eur increase when in 2020 theyre already shelling out over 150k on the new laboratory. – Eire011993 Oct 21 at 20:44
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    @Eire011993 We can't know what's reasonable or not as we don't know what value you bring or other jobs you have. Have you checked out the linked post from gnat comment? It explains how to bring this topic, and also self-evaluate. – Tymoteusz Paul Oct 21 at 20:47
  • Yes I've just finished reading it and had some useful comments. Guessing I was just looking for some general advice from people who have been on both sides! Thanks – Eire011993 Oct 21 at 20:49
  • Can you demonstrate to management your added value to the company in the past 6 months that would justify a 25% increase in salary? – sf02 Oct 21 at 20:52

Here's your language for an email,

Hi Steve, now that 6 great months is out of the way can we look at my salary. My judgement is that 45,000 would be appropriate. When you have a minute can you please consider this important issue and give me your thoughts.

Good luck!

Some points,

  • In stating that you want a different salary, all you can really do is politely say two things: "I want a new salary" and "I want X".

  • In negotiations or just communications, simple trick, just finish with a question.

  • Hence the three sentences in the example email.

Please note that there is utterly nothing else, whatsoever, you can say in the email one way or the other.

Whether you you blah blah, or if you just email "I need 45,000" and no other words - the only result is:

your boss will discuss with management that you want 45,000. So it's completely pointless worrying about how to phrase it.

The only way to get more money...

Don't forget that unfortunately the one, and only, way to "get more money" is to ... get another job.

You have absolutely no other leverage. All you can really do is say "If I don't get 45,000 I'm leaving" and if you don't get it, leave. (What else can you do? Nothing.)

For this reason, immediately start trying to find another job.

If they simply say a flat "No" what else can you do except move on?

Since your industry, like many, is hyper-booming at the moment my guess is you'll have no trouble. Good luck.

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  • This seems like a reasonable way to go about it. Is it something that an employer would scoff at if I was to ask for almost 15k more in the space of 6 months? – Eire011993 Oct 21 at 20:46
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    While I am not the downvoter, saying that form of how you ask for the raise is simplistic to say the least. How you will broach the matter can be the most important factor on how this goes forward, just stating demands out of the blue is likely to run into negativity due to the shock value alone, and nothing to calm the receiver down. Definitely there is more than can be done than state what you want. – Tymoteusz Paul Oct 21 at 20:50
  • @Eire011993 - yes, it's the correct email to send. it's completely normal to ask for a normal salary. note that your INITIAL salary is sort of meaningless - know what I mean? BTW I, obviously, know utterly nothing about your job etc, I just wrote in "45,000" as an example - but frankly it sounds right.. Eire / your industry is in a HUGE boom, you're a PhD. Enjoy – Fattie Oct 21 at 21:42
  • @TymoteuszPaul , I can only strongly disagree with you. Please note my paragraph which begins "your boss will discuss with..." To put it bluntly, anyone who thinks management cares about words they say is living in a dream. You know? I strongly support workers rights, so proudly get downvoted. The idea that demanding a raise is "out of the blue" is, to me, strange. (How is one supposed to ask .. "meekly"? "with warning?") Please do put in an answer w/ your suggestions for OP ! – Fattie Oct 21 at 21:44
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    @Fattie You are free to disagree, and just as much people are free to downvote it, which is likely why they do. Now if you wonder how could that day rate have been approached better, that's a perfect idea for a question. Doesn't mean direct and "give me more" approach never works, just that there are more tactful ways to do it which are usually better by average person in the full-oh-phd's field (which is where OP is). – Tymoteusz Paul Oct 21 at 21:54

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