How to…Get a Payrise


A cynic’s guide to cheating salary


The problem:

You enjoy your job (it beats deep-frying potatoes while Ronald McFatty spit-shouts orders at you); the bars near your office are decent (they’ve not once chucked you out for throwing things at the plasma screens) and you’ve been putting in some serious time with Lyndsay – the quietly pretty occupant of the cubicle opposite, so it would be a darn shame to job-hop before sealing the deal.

However, your landlord has just told you that he’s about to start charging rent for the Frank the Badger. This comes as a big blow, especially considering you’re barely scraping together enough for your online gaming habit as it is. You aren’t even close to promotion and you wouldn’t want the extra responsibility anyway, so you’re running out of options.


The Solution:

Blag yourself a pay rise.

Don’t let the Jacksons fool you, nothing is as easy as 1, 2, 3. What with all the mis-sold mortgages, banking crises and dodgy quadruple-dips going on, it’s pretty hard to catch a break. The boss has a convenient excuse for side-stepping any issue that involves less money for him/her and more for anyone else.

So, if you want to get ahead without giving head, you’re going to have to pull out the big guns.


Don’t be yourself.


Seek out someone better than you, stalk them as far as  restraining orders will allow, learn their ways, become them. If this doesn’t work, stick to some simple self-improvements. Brylcreem your hair into something that would make the Eiffel tower blush, get a spray tan, have your teeth whitened to blinding point and cover them in Vaseline (or didn’t you learn anything from cheerleading movies?!). Also smile, constantly. A Cheshire-cat grin. You’ll either look delightful or too demented to cope with rejection.


Appear unannounced.


If the predictable response to the pay rise question is “are you having a laugh?,” then you need to find a way to inspire the unpredictable. Your best bet is to pounce at a moment when your boss is particularly pre-occupied with something else. Plan a pre-boardmeeting ambush or get someone to fabricate and then alert your boss to a really bizarre anomaly in the latest P&L calculations half an hour before making your big entrance.


Cover up for your downfalls.


None of us are perfect. We’ve all got our own reel of office bloopers. The key is to acknowledge your errors and demonstrate how you’ve made up for them. For example, on the one hand you are incredibly sorry about that unfortunate incident involving the toilet brush and the photocopier, but on the other hand, a lot of people really enjoyed it when you arranged for the company away-day to take place at a naturist resort.


Calculate your worth.


In a recession, facts and figures might seem like your greatest foes. However, there are ways to cleave them to your advantage. Forget showing them how much business you bring to the company, this is will probably work against you. Instead, calculate your worth another way. Use this equation: Salary + (Mortgage Paid – Monthly Outgoings) + Net Value of Fancy Watches Owned + Annual Cash Presents on Birthdays x Number of Years Employed = F’ing Indispensible.


Disarm with Diagrams.


If the “worth equation” wasn’t enough to confuse your company director into acquiescence, you’ll have to think of something more comprehensively mind-bending. Powerpoint presentation performance reviews are excellent for this purpose. Not only can you present your information in a myriad of different forms – pie chart, tally, Venn diagram, flow chart, clustered bars – but you can also throw in a few off-the-wall slide transitions too, just to make sure that your audience is suitably overwhelmed. Note: be sure to include some jargon. Words like “trajectory”, “bifurcate” and “exponential” are real winners.


No Cry Babies.


After a certain point, it might feel like your only remaining option is to burst into tears, condemn them for “defecating on the little people” and walk out, but we wouldn’t advise it.

Anders Ljungberg

Anders Ljungberg


Negotiate. Hard.


Salary increases might be a definite “no”, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other perks that you can bargain for. You might not double your pay, but you may walk out with “personal growth afternoons” on Thursdays, subsidised lottery tickets, bi-annual trips to premier league matches and some cool plastic grass carpeting your office floor. 

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