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Get involved in your own salary development

Being involved in your own salary development can make a difference. SULF has compiled advice concerning the preparation, implementation and follow-up of individual salary interviews.

How to prepare a salary interview

1. Set up your salary interview. Do not wait for your Head of Department to contact you.

2. Evaluate yourself

• Evaluate your performance in comparison to established goals. What have you done to improve your competence professionally and operationally during the year? How much overtime do you work? Don’t forget all the one-off tasks that pop up – comments on government proposals, extra teaching etc.

• Evaluate the content of your work, for example budget responsibility, personnel responsibility, project management responsibility, course development, IT skills, management/supervisory training, collaboration with society, work with the integration of a gender equality perspective etc.

• Evaluate your personal qualifications using characteristics such as initiative, ability to cooperate and management/leadership skills.

• Evaluate your competence in relationship to the position you have, or have applied for. What is your educational level? Other qualifications? Often the employer has evaluated these when you were offered your current position. Use this to your advantage.

3. Evaluate your “market value”
Compare your salary level and development with other people. Information on salary statistics can be found here. Or contact your local union officials. Consider your experience. How much are you in demand at other workplaces?

4. Summarise your evaluation
Write down your own salary analysis listing strengths and weaknesses. Use your analysis as a point of departure in the interview with your Head of Department.

How to carry out an interview
1. Present what you want
Show your summarised salary analysis (preferably in writing) to your manager. Remember that this is an interview, not negotiations.

2. Link to performance
Start from the goals established in your preparations for the interview, or the demands imposed by your working tasks. Describe how well you feel you have fulfilled these goals/requirements. Take up any changes as concerns competence or responsibilities that may have affected your work. Discuss the future: any requests for changes to working tasks, competence development etc. Follow up the previous development interview without entering into a new development interview that touches on the future.

3. Summarise the interview
Write down what you have agreed with your manager and what you are not in agreement on. Written summaries are to be preferred. This is an advantage for future salary interviews. Express yourself as practically as possible, avoid generalised formulations.

How to follow up your salary interview
1. Analyse the interview
Find out where your evaluations differed from your manager’s. Are there preconditions in place for a positive development trend? In which areas do you need to develop your competence?

2. Evaluate your efforts
Make a list of the arguments against your demands. You will be able to work extra on these prior to the next round of salary interviews. Also try to evaluate your own preparations: was I properly prepared? Write it down and save it!

3. Notify your local contact
The salary interviews carried out by you and your colleagues provide underlying material, statistics and arguments that may impact the negotiating situation. Consequently it is vital that you share your experience.

4. When new salary levels have been established, managers must be able to explain the reasoning behind them

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