Our studies have demonstrated that salary remains a taboo subject at many workplaces. Salaries are not discussed with co-workers, and many remain unclear about the salary policy of their own workplace. Some people might not even discuss their salaries with their supervisor.
For this reason, many people might find themselves at a loss when they are asked to make a salary request as they are offered a promotion or seeking a new job. A raise may also come up in a development discussion. What should one do?
As a member of TEK you have access to the Salary Surveyor and our salary statistics that offer great comparative information on salaries in the sector. The Salary Surveyor, for example, allows you to input background information about the job task in question, your employer and yourself, and the application will draw salary graphs for you and show what kind of salaries people in your peer group are earning. This information makes it easier to come up with your own salary request. TEK and many other trade unions also provide personal salary advice to their members.
As the name suggests, your salary request is your request, so you should also think about it from your own perspective. If you are employed, a useful way to think about an appropriate salary request is to come up with a sum that would make you consider switching workplaces.
Eventually, everyone must decide on their salary request for themselves. You should also leave some leeway in your salary request, as it is usually the starting point for negotiations.
You should also come up with convincing justifications for your request in preparation for the salary discussion. Usually, the most successful justifications relate to your expertise, performance and the difficulty of the job. You should also be able to provide concrete practical examples of these. For good practical tips for the salary discussion, consult YTN’s Improve Your Salary (Paranna palkkaasi) guide.