Looking for a Pay Rise?

Asking for a pay rise is a daunting prospect, and you can feel as though you are rocking the boat. However, ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’, just make sure you do it properly. Here are my tips on increasing your chances:


Be realistic

Wayne Rooney

Whilst we would all love to earn footballer’s wages, it is important that you do not put off your employer from the start with a demand for a ridiculous amount of money. Find out how much you are worth. Do this by either asking your colleagues of similar position/experience/qualifications how much they get paid, (although please be aware some workplaces have a policy which does not allow staff to discuss their salaries and you may be subject to disciplinary proceedings) look up job advertisements to get an idea of how much competing firms are paying or use websites such as Payscale.com which gives a helpful indication of the average salary for similar jobs in your area.

Look the part

Wolf of Wall Street

Obviously not every work environment requires collars and cuffs, but there is nothing stopping you from coming into work looking neat, tidy and professional. Dressing up on the day you intend to ask for that pay rise will not have much effect if you are scruffy the rest of the time. This also applies to your day to day behaviour; be hard working, respectful, polite and keen to help. Appearances matter and your employer will notice.

Pick the right time


Try and avoid Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, as your boss is unlikely to be in the mood to listen to a pay rise request, no matter how good it is. For the same reasons, try and find out if your boss has any other meetings that day, and how long those meetings are for. With most companies the end of the tax year is stressful and the most busy so it is best to avoid meetings at this time as well. If your boss wants to know why you want a meeting, say it is about salaries but do not go into too much detail until the meeting itself.

Be calm


I cannot emphasise this point enough. Making any attempt to sway your boss’ decision by sharing stories of financial troubles or relationship problems is unlikely to go your way. Crying or getting angry at a meeting creates an uncomfortable environment and is likely to distract from the reason you went in.  If you do not get the result you want do not threaten to resign as it rarely ever works, and is likely to affect your relationship with your employer in a negative way and potentially put you out of a job! Be calm, collected and professional at all times and keep your boss on your side.

Be prepared


The best way to be ready for that meeting after you have done your research is to present your boss with a list of what you have done that justifies a higher wage, for example show how you have gone above and beyond your job description, how you have brought in business for the company, how you have trained and/or supported other members of staff. This also links in to the above point regarding the timing of your request – it is likely to be considered more favourably by your boss if you can prove you are an asset to the team.

You may want to also take some initiative and show your boss some ideas you may have to boost your income such as working from home a couple of days a week to reduce your travel costs.

Get feedback

Simon Cowell

Finally if your request for a pay rise is denied, always make sure that you ask for feedback so you can find out what you need to do to make sure the next time you ask you get a different answer.

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