How to ask for a pay rise.

how to ask for a pay rise

How to ask for a pay rise.


Everyone wants a pay rise and in an ideal world we’d be getting them on a regular basis as we progress through our career. However, more often than not a pay rise only comes about if you ask for it, and women just aren’t asking for it.

Women in the UK are half as confident as men about asking for a pay rise from their employers, and when they do ask they’re less likely than men to get it. Clearly something needs to be done, and we women need to start asking, and getting, an increase in pay.

Asking for a pay rise is a daunting and nerve wracking experience, it combines fear of rejection with the feeling of not being good enough, and sometimes it seems easier just to stay quiet and hope your pay will be reviewed anyway.

Well, it’s time to get over the fear and get asking, because in every country in the world women still earn less than men, and if we don’t ask, we won’t get!

So, here are our tips on how to ask for a pay rise:


how to ask for a pay rise


Plan ahead

When it comes to asking for a payrise you want to plan ahead because timing can be everything. An obvious time to ask for a payrise is during your annual review, it is likely your boss will be ready for you to bring it up, and you’ll already be discussing your progress and what you bring to the company.

Planning ahead also means time to pull together any evidence of why you deserve a pay rise. Showing your worth is vital in asking for more money, you don’t want to be caught out when your manager asks why you think you deserve a pay rise.

Start with any career achievements you’ve had, maybe you ran a successful campaign, helped on a project or received great feedback. It’s also good to mention any training you’ve undertaken, or moments where you’ve shown a clear drive to progress your skills and therefore have more to offer the company.


Do your research


It’s always good to have a number in mind when asking for an increase in salary. Whether you mention this number to start with, or suggest a percentage increase, knowing what you want is a good place to start.

Deciding what you want your salary to be needs to involve some research; what is the average wage for the role you’re doing in the industry you’re in? Have your skills and knowledge progressed in a way that means you could now apply for more senior roles that pay more?

Knowing what you could be earning elsewhere is not only a motivator but a bargaining tool. If you can show your employers that you’d be earning more money if you started a new job then they know there is a chance you might leave, and hopefully this will motivate them to consider a pay increase.

This is a controversial one, but as part of your research you may want to consider asking your co-workers about their salary. Although many people consider this a career no-go, it can help to promote gender equality and motivate people to start the pay and progression conversation in the first place.

how to ask for a pay rise

Be assertive and respectful

So you’ve planned ahead and done your research, now it comes to the actually doing it, and the strength and motivation you might have felt before has slipped away. Don’t fear, you can do this!

Be assertive. Whether you have a very friendly or completely professional relationship with your manager, you’ve got to use the opportunity to be assertive and show you’re serious about the situation.

Be clear about what you want. If you’ve told your boss beforehand what the meeting is about then you’re not going to shock them by saying you want to discuss your salary, however if they’re going in blind you need to be clear about what you want. Say you’d like to talk about your salary and that you’d like to review your pay and progression at the company.

Don’t feel like you need to get defensive or aggressive, but also make sure not to be too emotional or apologetic, there is nothing to be sorry for when asking for a pay. Remember you’re asking the company, not an individual person, and the company has no feelings!

Ultimately, don’t underestimate yourself. If you’ve planned ahead and done your research then you’re ready to ask, and whatever the outcome you should be proud of yourself.

Managers understand that people are going to ask for salary increases, it’s a normal part of work life, and they themselves will have done it time and time before, so even though it seems scary just remember, the worst they can do is say no. You’re not going to be fired for asking, you’re not going to have a pay decrease, and it’s unlikely your manager will judge you negatively for asking.

Even if your company can’t offer you the pay increase there and then, by showing it is on your mind, and you’re willing to put in the time and effort to do the work needed to progress, you’re showing them you are worth their investment, and if they don’t want to lose you they’ll have to step up and give you that pay rise.