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The Coach: ‘How do I negotiate a better wage?’


Matthew Turner offers advice on the tricky issue of successfully asking for a salary increase

I really think I should be paid more. How do I go about negotiating a better wage? 

Matthew turner

The idea of negotiating a salary increase can often make people feel quite uncomfortable. Many would rather eat sand than ask their employer for more pay. Yet, thinking through dispassionately, you’re essentially selling your time. Why would you not negotiate a price for something you sell?

One starting point is to identify how much others in similar roles earn. This information gives you something to work from. 

How much demand is there for your job? The more demand there is for your skills, the greater leverage you have.

If you don’t believe in your value to the practice, then you can hardly expect anyone else to believe for you

What difficulties would your company face if you left? It sounds callous to calculate in this way, but this all serves to enhance your value to the business.

Also, how is the company performing in terms of profit and loss? This is a key context for your negotiation. 

You need to be prepared to be your own salesperson. If you don’t believe in your value to the practice, then you can hardly expect anyone else to believe for you. The key to success in this is making a conscious effort to build the evidence to make your case. Keep track of your achievements and accomplishments, ideally associating them with monetary or other serious value to the practice. 

AJ coach Matthew Turner is an architect and careers consultant who runs the Building on Architecture consultancy. Email him in confidence at hello@buildingonarchitecture.com.


Readers' comments (2)

  • This is all well and good, but it doesn’t stop practices from pointing at the RIBA salary guide/benchmark to essentially say that you’re ‘capped’ out...

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  • Get another higher paid job and then ask them to match the salary. Be prepared to leave if they don’t. What RIBA salary guide/benchmark? An irrelevant private club can not control the jobs market. We were promised a new golden age, and we want it now!

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