It pays to sim­ply ask

If you don’t ask, you don’t get when it comes to in­creas­ing your wage, as Fran Met­calf and Han­nah Silverman re­port.

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DON’T ask, don’t get. That’s the mes­sage touted by work ex­perts.

DW Bot­tom Line chief ex­ec­u­tive Donny Wal­ford says em­ploy­ees need to value them­selves to get ahead.

Mort­gage bro­ker, prop­erty in­vestor and new-found author Medine Sim­mons says get­ting a pay rise can be as sim­ple as ask­ing.

‘‘Most of us have been raised with the no­tion that money is a taboo sub­ject,’’ she says. ‘‘But it’s re­ally just a small part of life and get­ting a han­dle on it makes it a re­ally use­ful tool.’’

IT’S not an easy thing to ask for more money. In fact, it’s one of the most sen­si­tive things about which peo­ple can talk. So it comes as no sur­prise that fronting the big boss to ask for a pay rise can leave even the most se­nior of ex­ec­u­tives trem­bling with nerves.

Will you get one? What if you get knocked back? What should you say? Will your boss hold it against you?

Mort­gage bro­ker, prop­erty in­vestor and new-found author Medine Sim­mons says the key to crack­ing the pay-rise code is sim­ple: just ask.

‘‘Most of us have been raised with the no­tion that money is a taboo sub­ject,’’ she says.

‘‘Our 1950s par­ents brought us up to think it’s not some­thing we should talk about but it’s re­ally just a small part of life and get­ting a han­dle on it makes it a re­ally use­ful tool.

‘‘Get­ting a pay rise is about tak­ing the emo­tion out of it,’’ Ms Sim­mons says.

Much of our anx­i­ety sur­round­ing pay stems from the fact that we’ve cou­pled our per­sonal worth with what we get paid.

‘‘What we get paid is sim­ply what the mar­ket dic­tates and what the com­pany can af­ford,’’ she says.

‘‘It’s per­fectly safe to ask for a pay rise. Do you know why?

‘‘The re­al­ity is it’s just a busi­ness trans­ac­tion and com­pa­nies do gazil­lions of those ev­ery day.’’

But we should all be pre­pared to be knocked back, Ms Sim­mons says. For in­stance, if there’s no money for a raise, do you ask for ex­tra train­ing? Cour­ses and on- the-job train­ing will make you more valu­able. Do some re­search on how to ex­pand your skills so you’re worth more money. Pre­pare your pitch by hav­ing a rea­son (mak­ing bud­get), mak­ing a sug­ges­tion (can I have a pay rise?) and then wait for a re­sponse.

‘‘Your boss may say some­thing like ‘How much are we talk­ing?’ and then you can make a sug­ges­tion and go from there,’’ she says.

‘‘It’s far eas­ier to get up the courage to do it, if you have a rea­son.

‘‘Bosses are busy, too, do­ing their own job so you can’t rely on them notic­ing things.’’

Ade­laide’s DW Bot­tom Line chief ex­ec­u­tive Donny Wal­ford lives by the mantra ‘‘don’t ask, don’t get’’. She says women are of­ten the worst cul­prits when it comes to shy­ing away from ask­ing for a pay rise.

‘‘It’s be­cause men are very good at tap­ping peo­ple on the shoul­der and telling peo­ple what they want . . . but I’ve had so many women who un­der­value them­selves and don’t charge what their value is,’’ Ms Wal­ford says.

‘‘When they ne­go­ti­ate their re­mu­ner­a­tion, once again they are un­der­valu­ing them­selves so I al­ways say to them ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’.’’

Pic­ture: An­drea Laube.

Donny Wal­ford lives by the mantra ‘‘don’t ask, don’t get’’ and she’s en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to think the same.

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