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How to ask for a pay rise

Want to ask for a salary increase but not sure how to do it? We’ve got you covered with these 9 steps.

How to ask for a pay rise

Asking your employer for a pay rise can feel like an awkward conversation. But if you’re not satisfied with your current salary, it’s better to address this head on rather than brush it under the rug.

Use our tips for asking for a salary increase to give yourself the best shot of success!

  • Find an appropriate moment
  • Catch your manager at the right time
  • Prepare examples
  • Use facts and figures
  • Remain professional
  • Research market value
  • Be clear
  • Prepare to negotiate
  • Have a backup plan

Valid reasons to ask for a salary increase

  • You’ve been given new responsibilities and duties
  • Through experience, you’ve become a more knowledgeable and skilled worker
  • You’ve not received a pay rise for many years
  • You’ve moved into a more Senior role
  • Your current salary is below market value

The best way to ask for a pay rise

1. Find an appropriate moment

When asking for a raise, you need to pick the right time. Don’t just pull your manager aside spontaneously. Make sure you either book in a meeting (for a minimum of 30 minutes), address it during a performance review, or book a meeting when you’ve successfully completed a project.

2. Catch your manager at the right time

Avoid booking a meeting when your manager is under a lot of stress or is dealing with a particularly busy period. It helps to catch your manager during a time when they’re happy with the team performance and things are running smoothly.

3. Prepare examples

As part of your preparation for your meeting, make sure you prepare examples of your achievements. You’ll need to use these examples as a means of justifying your pay rise, so dig deep!

4. Use facts and figures

Where possible, use any facts or stats to reflect your performance like Key Performance Indicators or targets. This will make your argument more compelling!

5. Remain professional

It’s important to remain professional, positive and non-emotional during your meeting. Even if you’re frustrated about your current salary, don’t let this show and keep the tone upbeat.

6. Research market value

Always use a salary checker to research the average UK salary for your job beforehand. This will help you to decide how much of a pay rise to ask for. As a general rule of thumb, it’s acceptable to ask for a 10% raise, but always do your research to double-check the going rate!

7. Be clear

During the meeting, make your desired salary clear and tell your manager what you’d hope to be earning. Avoid being vague as this could result in miscommunication and disappointment!

8. Prepare to negotiate

When asking for a pay rise, you may need to negotiate a little. It’s possible your employer will want to give you an increase, but maybe just not as much as you’re asking for. Be prepared to come down a little on your request, but don’t be afraid to ask for other benefits to compensate, such as more annual leave, private healthcare etc.

9. Have a backup plan

Unfortunately, you may not be successful in your quest for a pay rise. If that’s the case, be respectful of their decision and make a plan with your manager to understand the steps you need to take in order to gain your raise. If this isn’t a possibility, it may be time to consider new opportunities.

Know your worth

Every employee has the right to ask for a raise, but knowing when and how to ask for a raise is key to your success. Always prepare in advance, remain professional, and be confident in putting your case forward.

Looking for a career move? Take a look at our article on defining your dream job!

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