How to ask for a pay rise

It’s 2019, the start of a new year and you’re thinking over your achievements and your place in the company. You’re happy with your progress and you think you’ve been doing a great job, you should be looking forward to a new year – but there’s an uneasy feeling looming over you. You want to ask your boss for a raise and you know you deserve it, but the thought of having the conversation fills you with dread. You don’t want to sound pushy, you don’t want to sound awkward, and you definitely don’t want to be refused.

SO, how do you ask for a raise – and get it?


The key to any request like this is preparation. In order to put through a meaningful request for a raise, you need to prepare information on what exactly you have achieved that would mean you deserve a raise. Depending on your role, this could be more tangible data i.e. sales figures, or alternatively talking through projects or processes you have championed.

By coming to your meeting prepared with concrete evidence of your wins, you are showing your manager that you are serious about your progression and making their decision to grant you a raise far easier.


Your preparation doesn’t stop at collecting evidence of your successes. In order to create further justification for your salary increase request, you should research salary information for your role in your location and sector. This information is really easily found online through salary surveys (see ours HERE) and is also provided by most job boards. Coming to a meeting prepared with detailed information on the average salary of people in your role, along with the higher and lower limits, will show your manager that your request is reasonable.

So now you’re all prepared, how do you actually phrase your request? How do you act in your meeting?


As always, confidence is key. If you approach your manager sounding unsure of yourself, they will equally be unsure of granting your request. It’s important that you come to your manager with confidence, but not in a way that comes across as arrogance. Moreover, you will be balancing this confidence with appreciation for your raise and enthusiasm and excitement for the future of your role.


Along with your confident air, it’s essential that you are concise and clear about what you want from your role. You should be coming to your manager with a specific figure that you desire, and your preparation and research will be a justification for how you came to this number. You should be prepared for a negotiation with your manager, so a clear figure in mind will keep negotiations fair and reasonable.

What to do if your raise request is denied?

There are several reasons why a raise request could be denied, it could be that a raise does not fit into the company’s budget at the current time, or it could be that there are some targets that your manager believes you need to meet before you can receive your raise.

In either of these situations, you should not be disheartened, but instead discuss a clear plan with your manager on goals and time limits on how to achieve your goal salary.


With these things in mind, you should be prepared and calm going into your next salary discussion. Although it may feel like an awkward topic, it’s important to remember that you are qualifying your request and it is well within your right to go after a salary you deserve, so be confident and secure that your request will be accepted. Good luck!

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