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How to Negotiate a Pay Rise

Negotiating a pay rise creates a potentially awkward situation where the staff member becomes concerned they might come across as greedy or have the company think they’re not appreciative of the money they already make.

But there is a time to be bold and ask for that rise – you need more money or you might believe you deserve the rise for your excellent work.

Make a Plan

Marching into your manager’s office is not the right way of going about things.

You might think this makes you look like an assertive and confident member of the team.

However, what could happen is that your manager is taken by surprise.

A much safer way is to contact your boss in advance.

Make an appointment to talk to them about your work achievements, as well as your pay level.

This means your boss knows what you want, and also shows them you know what you bring to the business.

It also shows you’re considerate of the demands on their own time, rather than something more sporadic.

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Provide Evidence of Your Good Work

Once you’re sitting with your boss, you’ll want to justify why you’re asking for more money.

You need to be able to show them why you think you deserve the pay rise.

Make sure you don’t give the impression you think your boss doesn’t know what you do, but make sure to point out your achievements.

If it’s been a while since your last raise, it’s worth pointing this out.

If it’s been a few months, it’s probably better not to mention that, but good for you for asking!

Things not to do:

  • Threaten to leave
  • Try to find out what others are paid
  • Make reference to what people at other companies doing the same job are paid.

Threats and complaints aren’t likely to win over your boss, but highlighting your hard work and dedication is much more likely to result in success.

Never beat around the bush when you’re asking for a raise. Don’t wait until after a meeting to ‘casually’ bring it up. Schedule a time to meet with your boss with one goal in mind: broaching the pay raise.Randi ZuckerbergAmerican businesswoman

Five Strategies on How to Get a Pay Rise

Ask the question – it’s very unlikely your boss will give you a rise without you asking.

Check your boss actually has the power to grant it. HR and finance teams are heavily involved in pay and it could be down to them.

Make the appointment and then mention what you want to discuss. Don’t give your boss an option to wriggle out of having a meeting.

Push your luck! Decide what salary increase you would accept, and then add a little more on top of that for what you ask for.

What this does is when your boss inevitably tries to negotiate you down, you’ll still get the salary you want.

It shows you’re a flexible employee who’s willing to compromise.

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Don’t Make it Personal

Your boss won’t want to hear about your personal finances, so don’t start talking about having a big overdraft or wanting to pay of credit cards.

We all have bills to pay and your finances are no one else’s business.

What is worth doing is preparing what you’re going to say and having a practice the night before.

Have a good think about what your boss might say.

What objections might they have?

Try to work out what their concerns might be and come up with solutions.

Make sure you remain professional and keep calm – it’s not going to go well if you lose your cool and start getting aggressive.

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Top 5 Strategies – How to Get a Pay Rise

Two men hold a business meeting

You are being paid below the ‘market rate’

While it’s not a good idea to highlight what people at other companies are being paid, it is worth working out whether you’re getting the ‘market rate.’

Do some research and find out what the pay rates are.

If there is a difference, you’re in a strong position.

Point out your value to the company

Your chances of getting that rise is greatly improved if you’re able to prove how much you like your job, and the company, and are able to highlight the great work you’ve done.

Learn your salary band and try to maximize your pay

Assume you applied for (and were hired for) the position of Operations Manager. The displayed annual salary ranged between $48,500 and $56,000, depending on experience. v

Based on your experience, you were offered (and accepted) a salary of $50,000.

The company laid out and stipulated what they have been prepared to pay a person like you to do this job for this position, and therefore set a top ($56,000) and bottom ($48,500) limit that forms your salary band.

This potentially means you can present a case for that additional $6,000 which had been originally advertised.

You can argue your experience and achievements in the job would put you in that top pay tier.

If you have chosen to take on any additional tasks in addition to those assigned to you, make them known during the meeting.

It’s also worth pointing out it would cost a lot more to employ someone else than it would giving you a far smaller pay increase.

Become the company’s top worker

If you’re playing the long game when it comes to your pay rise, you might want to up your performance in the run up to the conversation with your boss.

No-one can complain you’re making extra effort, even if it is with the aim of benefitting your own situation.

You could choose a day a week where you really go for it.

You can make your face known in other departments, volunteer to stay late/do extra work and generally be pleasant and helpful.

Be honest with yourself though, you need to genuinely be trying to make a difference rather than coming across as a sycophant who’s only out for themselves.

Inflationary pressures

At the time of writing, inflation in America is currently at 7.7 percent.

It means everything costs more, and could mean any recent pay increases you have could be below the rate of inflation – a cut in real terms.

Even if you receive an annual pay increase in accordance with inflation, you still can make the argument that you are not receiving a higher salary in real terms because your ‘increment’ only negates inflationary increases – and what you desire is a ‘real pay raise.’


The most important reason for requesting a raise has to be that you deserve it!

If you have consistently delivered over what is expected in performance reviews, it will be difficult for your boss to make the argument against a pay raise

However, performance is frequently subjective.

So, before the meeting, have a clear idea of your achievements and what you bring to the firm.

Make sure you’re clear on the targets you’ve hit and exceeded, and any big deals you’ve closed and things could be looking up.

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