Tips on how to ask for a pay rise

Asking for a pay rise can be a daunting and nerve wracking experience. It may be something that you put off, waiting and hoping for your employer to recognize your amazing contribution to the company.

However, I would recommend that you take the bull by the horns and have the discussion with your manager.

By following the tips below you may find yourself with a fantastic pay rise. So book in that meeting!


1. Timing 

Before you ask your manager for a meeting consider when is the best time for you both to sit down undisturbed.

In most workplaces this would mean Monday mornings are best avoided because your boss may well be firefighting. Conversely Friday afternoon is probably not a great time either as your boss will, in all likelihood, be winding down for the weekend.

If your team is working towards a deadline and a big pitch then avoid this period too.  You want your boss to be as relaxed as possible with time to listen to you so consider having the meeting after lunch.


2. Research 

Before you go and ask for a 20 percent increase do your market research. Check that your role in your industry is paying this externally. If it isn’t then be prepared to justify why you think your role deserves the increase.


3. Be prepared 

When you have your meeting with your line manager say that you’d like to discuss your salary. Explain that you’ve made a note of your justifications for this request and that you’d like to go through it with them if they are agreeable.

Reasons you could use to support your request for a pay increase might be:

  • Your role is not aligned with market rate for the same or broadly similar work.
  • Your role has taken on more responsibility.
  • A new geographic area has been added to your area of responsibility.
  • You’ve taken on new line management responsibilities.

Be armed with any relevant facts and figures so that, if your boss asks any questions, you can respond immediately.


4. Dress code 

I always tell my clients “dress for the job you want, not the job that you have”. You want to make a good impression at this meeting so, as well as having your list of justifications for your request, consider what you wear to the meeting.


5. Follow up with an email  

I believe that it’s always good practice to send an email after the meeting thanking your manager for their time and giving a summary of what you discussed.  If you agreed a date by which they’d get back to you then add this to the email.


6. Ignore personal reasons

When asking for a pay rise stick to the facts in relation to your job and don’t mention that you need to buy a new car and that this increase would allow you do that. Needing a new car, holiday or mortgage is not a valid reason to ask for a pay rise and may make your line manager question your professionalism.


7. Feedback

If, for any reason, your manager comes back to say the increase in salary has not been approved then ask them for feedback on why this is.

Clarify with your manager what you need to do in the next few months to be considered for an increase and ask if your salary can be reviewed in six months time.

Once you have had this discussion follow it up with an email confirming all the details and if you’ve agreed to review it again in six months time then add this to the letter.


If you’re  about to ask for a pay rise then I would love to hear how you get on.