I know what you’re all thinking, how can it possibly be that time of year again! It feels like only a couple of weeks ago we were all celebrating Christmas and making New Year’s resolutions. The end of financial year is approaching quickly and that means performance review and salary review meetings are at the forefront of most employer’s/employee’s minds.

It can be difficult navigating your way through this meeting minefield so below are a few points to keep in mind when negotiating a salary increase.

The first and biggest mistake employees make is not asking for a raise, at all! It goes without saying that if you do not ask, you will not receive. From an employers’ position it shows that you are committed to the company and consider yourself a valued employee. Even if your employer is unable to offer you a pay increase at this time, this conversation opens up communication channels and provides you with an opportunity to develop your role and potential future earnings.

Obviously don’t threaten your employer with leaving for another job. You will not get a pay rise and could be made redundant. If you are a skilled worker then you shouldn’t need to resort to empty threats. Salary increases are based on merit, commitment and market value.

Keep the meeting professional, it is one thing to vent about your personal problems at work and have co-workers lend a sympathetic ear.  However, walking into a salary review meeting and talking about your student loads or car troubles is not going to increase your chances of getting what you want.

On that note, make sure you call a meeting specifically to discuss your performance and your wage. Some employers run the process as a two stage meeting: the first stage where your performance is discussed and the second where your remuneration is discussed. Ensure you understand the particular process used by your employer. Casually walking into your employer’s office to talk money; bringing up your salary in a completely different meeting; or asking for more money during a bad performance review will catch your boss off guard and you will come across as unprofessional, unprepared and, in some cases, just ridiculous.

Salary and performance review meetings do not have to be a scary and dreaded experience. Simply make sure your work as an employee is above par, approach your employer with the right frame of mind and stay professional.