Get a pay rise

As the cost of food, fuel and credit continues to increase, many of us could do with a bit of extra cash to make ends meet or continue enjoying the lifestyle we have got used to. If getting a second or higher paying job isn’t an option then you could consider asking for a pay rise.

It’s never easy to ask for more money. But there is a right – and a wrong – way to do it.

What are you worth?

Before you even think about asking for more money, research the job that you do and the average salary attached to it. Avoid asking individual colleagues how much they are paid, instead research externally on websites such as and look at advertised vacancies for similar roles. This will enable you to determine your own salary level and put you in a good position to negotiate.

You should also check your progress from when you started with the company or from your last pay rise - you'll have a stronger case if you can show how you've developed during your employment. Pay rises are usually linked to contribution to a company, so if you've gone beyond your job description to take on more responsibilities or provided extra benefits to the business, outline how.

In many organisations it's only possible to get a significant pay rise if you step up the career ladder into a new role. Consider whether you are ready for the next level. If you are, gather evidence to support this. If you're not ready yet, discuss with your manager what's needed to take the next step.

Plan ahead

As with anything, timing is very important when it comes to asking for a pay rise. If your current firm is going through a period of financial difficulty then it might be worth delaying your request until the future looks a little brighter.

Asking for a pay rise can be a nerve-racking experience. Arrange a morning meeting if possible, so you don't spend all day worrying. If you aren’t sure who to approach about getting a pay rise, then check with human resources. Or, speak directly to your line manager who, if necessary, will refer on your request to the relevant person.

Before you go into the meeting, have a good idea of what your argument is. Having a few key points in writing should give you the confidence to state your case. Jot down the points you want to raise, such as your progress since joining and any facts and figures to reflect your performance.

Before asking for a pay rise, think about how much money you want and how much you think the company can afford to give you. But don't be stubborn - go into the meeting with an open mind and be prepared to negotiate on the amount you will accept.

During the meeting

It goes without saying that you should conduct yourself during the meeting with tact, remaining calm, friendly and professional throughout.

Don’t beat around the bush. Your manager is likely to be a busy person - as are you - so there is no point in wasting time. Get straight to the point, by being direct and open about your desire for a salary increase. Having said that, being too direct could work against you. Make sure you present the evidence to back up a raise, and avoid being aggressive or demanding.

Whatever you do, don’t let your emotions get the better of you. No matter what the outcome is, don’t get angry, aggressive or sulky. And don’t cry - it is unlikely that any sort of unprofessional behaviour will endear you to your boss.

If you want to use leverage to get a pay rise (such as another job offer) then don’t present this fact as blackmail. If you threaten to leave without an immediate pay rise then be prepared for the fact that you might be taken up on the offer. Don't do anything too hasty that you might regret further down the line.

Finally, if you are turned down then keep the negotiations going; ask for feedback on your progress and what your future aims and targets should be. Don't be afraid to ask for specific reasons and a review at a set date in the future.

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