How do you ask for a pay rise?

How do you ask for a pay rise?

author: Bryony Pearce

By Bryony Pearce

Everyone deserves to be paid a fair salary for their work, right? If you think you’re due a raise, we’re here to help you ask.


You’re a hard worker and you know it. You’re not just on time, you’re early. You don’t run out of the door when the clock chimes at 5pm. You even work through your precious lunch break. And if anyone’s a team player, it’s you.

But, you can’t help but feel your salary no longer reflects your input and your manager’s showing no sign of making the first move. So, if you want that extra income, it’s all on you.

Asking for a pay rise is a daunting task for many of us. But if you don’t ask, you don’t get, and what’s the worst that can happen after all? You might get a “no” which isn’t the answer you were after, but odds are you’ll come away with pointers to help you make the rise next time.

If the time’s come for you to ask the all-important question but you just don’t know how to go about it, then don’t go anywhere - and don’t delay, because we’ve got lots of top tips for you.

Build your case

Preparation is key. If you want your manager to pitch for more of the business’ money, you need to be able to give them reason to.

1. Share your achievements

Start by demonstrating your value and worth. Cherry pick a few of your biggest achievements and relate them to how they’ve helped the business. It won’t be possible for every type of job, but if you can, try and translate your achievements into a financial return.

For example, if you’re a sales rep and you’ve consistently been bringing in loads of profit each month, bring this to their attention to show how you, individually, contribute to the business’ bottom-line.

2. List additional responsibilities

Most roles constantly change which is great for your progression, but sometimes the evolution can go unnoticed, and before you know it, you’re taking on lots of new responsibilities with nothing in return.

So, make a note of all the new tasks and responsibilities you’ve picked up since you started or your last salary review, and discuss why you think these should contribute to your pay rise.

3. Be specific

Don’t go into the meeting blind. Have a (realistic!) salary in mind so you can a) walk away knowing if you’ve under or overachieved your target, and b) give your manager something specific to work with, and help them understand where your head’s at.

If you’re struggling to work out what salary increase to ask for, it might be worth doing some research to see what other people in your industry and position are being paid. Collecting this kind of info will also help to build your case.

4. Prepare yourself for questions

It’s very unlikely your boss will roll over and give you a pay rise without asking any questions. So, a bit like you would for a job interview, prepare yourself for any questions you’re likely to be asked so you can confidently answer them to the best of your ability.

The more prepared, confident and equipped you are, the better you’ll come across, and the more likely your request is to be accepted.

5. Practise your pitch

Sticking with the confidence theme, have a practise run-through of your pitch before you present it to your manager to make sure you’re comfortable with everything you’re saying.

If it helps, it might be worth jotting down a few bullet points on a piece of paper to jog your memory. The last thing you want is to walk out of the room and kick yourself for forgetting something important!

6. Share your future goals

If a business is going to invest more money in you, it’s only natural they’ll want some sort of assurance you see a future with them. After all, what’s in it for them if you up sticks and leave soon after?

To demonstrate your commitment to the company, make a point of sharing your future career goals and how you see yourself progressing from your current position.

How to carry yourself

So there are a few pointers of what you need to say, now let’s turn our attention to how you say it.

Be confident

If you don’t come across as confident in yourself, how is your manager supposed to be confident in you, too? Research and rehearsal will help with this, but remember not to be too confident or you could come across a little cocky.

Be gracious

The last thing you want is to come across ungrateful for what you have. To combat this, remember to air your appreciation for what you currently have, while politely explaining why you think you deserve more.

It’s equally important to take any constructive criticism on board graciously too. If your manager, for whatever reason, disagrees with one of your points, don’t fly off the handle - this’ll only support their case to turn you down. Instead, accept their feedback and perhaps ask them how they think you could do better.

Be enthusiastic

Enthusiasm is contagious. Walking in there with a smile on your face and energy in your voice will instantly set the tone for the meeting, and expressing excitement for your current role and future prospects will further demonstrate your commitment.

And that’s a wrap. We hope you found these tips useful, and we wish you the best of luck with your pay rise request!

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Bryony Pearce

By Bryony Pearce

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How do you ask for a pay rise? How do you ask for a pay rise?