How to ask for a pay rise

apple on laptop

apple on laptopGetting a pay rise is not easy. If it was, we’d all be on sky-high salaries with fat cat bonuses. But if you’re on the wage you were in 1996, or if you’ve taken on more work or more responsibilities for the same old salary, then you shouldn’t be too afraid to ask.


Just make sure you do it the right way…

You know how your kids sound when they ask you for more pocket money? That’s how not to ask for a pay rise!

Getting your boss to agree to give you some more cash requires a bit of crafty planning. It’s all about choosing the right time and the right words...

The right time to ask

Choose a moment when your company either has more cash to splash or when you have proved yourself to be indispensable. Look out for the following:

  • Has a new business deal been made? If so, think of ways you can help with the new project and offer suggestions to help it run more smoothly. Crucially, think about why you are the person who deserves to be involved.
  • Is your industry on the up? When times are tight, those purse-strings will be too, so pick a time when there is a general optimism about what you are doing.
  • Have you proved yourself recently? It’s unlikely you’ll get money for nothing, but if you’ve done a really good job on a particular project, won an award, done something which is above the call of duty, or have been praised by people you work with, then use this moment to ask for financial rewards for your efforts.

The right words to say

Remember how you sold yourself in your interview? Now you’re on more familiar terms with your boss, it might be a challenge to be formal again, but here are some ways which will make it easier:

  • Put yourself in the shoes of your employer – why should they pay you more? List ways in which you have helped save them money or made their business run effectively, and have examples to prove it.
  • Be positive, not negative. Praising the way the company is running and signalling you enjoy being part of it will be much more effective than complaining about not being paid enough.
  • Similarly, if you are looking for new jobs, instead of threatening that you’ll leave if they don’t pay you more, wait until you’ve had a job offer with a better wage, then give them the opportunity to keep you as an employee if they increase your salary, saying what you like about your current position.
  • Have a fixed idea of how much more you would like to be paid and be clear and direct with your boss. If you leave it to them then you are more likely to be disappointed.
  • Have confidence. If you do your job well then there’s no reason why you can’t ask for a pay rise – and if you never ask, you’ll never know.