How to ask for a pay rise and make sure you get it

When you work hard it's natural to want a pay rise. Money is a sign of your value to the organisation and no one wants to feel under-valued.

Negotiating a pay rise is anxiety inducing and deciding when to approach your boss, how much to ask for and what to say all needs careful thought and consideration. Here are our top tips on asking for a pay rise.

How do I find out if I’m underpaid?

First and foremost, you need to do some research. Find out what colleagues at a similar level earn as well as those in comparable positions. There are some great sites where people will submit their salary details making the research stage pretty straight forward.

You could also use a salary checker tool which allows you to compare the average pay for any job or industry in the UK.

How to prepare

You should never ask for a pay rise without preparing the conversation you’re going to have. This meeting will be platonic and no matter how good your relationship with your boss they will expect you to prove you deserve the salary increase you’re asking for. It’s important to build your case by looking back on recent projects and times where you went above and beyond what was expected of you.

When to ask for a pay rise

A great time to ask for a pay rise is at your annual performance review. At this review the topic is not only timely but it’s expected. It may also be worth finding out when you companies annual budget planning takes place so that you’re not asking for the impossible. And obviously wait until your boss is in an exceptional mood and not during a particularly hectic or stressful time.

What to say

Be specific! Tell your boss your desired salary range and share the research you’ve done. Make sure you let them know when you’d like the new salary to be effective and request a revised contract to reflect the changes.

Be confident! Being sure of yourself and what you deserve means your boss will feel comfortable giving you what you want.

Be clear! If you decide to have this conversation during your annual review, you’ll get asked if you have any questions or anything to add at the end. Saying something like “I’d love to discuss my salary, is now a good time?”

Could I get sacked for asking?

Absolutely NO! The law is very clear. You cannot be sacked for asking for a pay rise.

Be prepared for rejection but don’t give up.

Although (fingers crossed) you’ll reach your desired outcome from the conversation, sometimes it might not be the right time. Your boss might not be in the best position financially or they only review pay grades at the end of the financial year. If your request gets rejected accept it gracefully and find out when they will next be looking to review salaries.

Remember, there will be external factors that you can’t control but if you follow the tips above, it should help to put you in an excellent position to get a pay rise.

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