“My stay-at-home wife just had our third child, and we’re feeling it financially. I’m thinking of asking my boss for a pay rise so that we can have a more sustainable lifestyle. Is this a no-no?”
Well, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous when employees come with a sob story (however true it may be) and use it to justify a salary increase. A company hires you to do a job for a price that you agreed on. It’s largely a money for labour transaction. Expecting it to compensate you for your personal issues is just not reasonable. If I have a penchant for expensive cars, I wouldn’t go to my boss and ask for a raise so that I can afford one right?
I know, I know. You’re thinking that my expensive car is a want, your situation is a need. Babies are expensive – this clothing store had the right idea with the above romper – but from an employer’s perspective, what does it get in return for paying you more to support your third child? Are you going to put in more hours? Bring in more revenue? Your grossly overrated undying loyalty?
It’s not an absolute no-no to ask for a pay rise due to personal circumstances, but if you do want to broach this topic, shift the conversation away from making your problem your employer’s – i.e. “You are not paying me enough”. Unless of course, you are paid below the market (but that’s another post altogether, and in which case the easy solution will be to just to leave and take up a job that pays the market rate). Instead, focus on looking for possible ways to help you earn more.
- Are there opportunities for you to do more paid overtime?
- What do you need to do to get to the next level and get a promotional increase?
- Would attaining certain qualifications help you to diversify your role and take on bigger and more highly paid projects?
Attack the issue like a mature adult who is thinking of alternatives instead of an entitled employee asking for a direct handout, and it will be far better received. Otherwise, expect some serious eye-rolling from your boss. And HR.