Want a pay rise? Here’s how to ask for one

If your plans for this year include asking your boss for a pay rise, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it.

Feeling valued at work is important when it comes to being motivated to do our best.

It leaves us feeling happier and more connected to our colleagues and that sense of fulfilment has benefits for our home life, personal relationships and friendships.

A study of employee satisfaction has found “respectful treatment” and fair pay are the top two factors for job satisfaction.

So how do you give yourself the best chance of a pay rise?

Ask for a meeting

“You need to make a decision to ask for a pay rise and to ask with conviction,” says Winning Conversations author Bryan Whitefield.

“When you ask for a meeting, you could say, ‘I’d like to talk about expanding my horizons. I have some ideas on how things could be done a bit differently’.

“Link the meeting to talking about making improvements and as you work through those things, you can mention a pay rise.”

But pick your moment. Don’t corner your boss when they’re preparing for an important meeting or when they’re dealing with personal problems or family illness.

Stand in your boss’s shoes

“People think about themselves and how deserving they are, rather than thinking about what is in this for their boss,” says Bryan.

“Think about the challenges your boss is facing and have empathy.

“They might be under budget pressures and have been told to hold the line on pay rises,” he says.

“Pay rises may only be allocated once a year and you are asking outside that cycle.

“Acknowledge the boss’s situation when you ask for your pay rise.”

Proof points: Focus on the positives

Talk about what you have helped achieve and how excited you are about the future.

“Focus on return on investment and demonstrate the bottom line of what you’ve done,” says Bryan.

“Demonstrate how you have met budgets, got more business or how you’ve made a difference to a project.

“Show where you’ve been innovative and taken something to a higher level.

“Talk about the difference you have made and the difference you will make in the future.”

If the boss says ‘no’

If you are told a pay rise isn’t possible, ask why.

If your boss gives reasons you’ve thought through, present your counter-arguments.

If they raise reasons you’re not prepared for, ask, ‘What do I need to do differently or what goals do I need to achieve for a pay rise to come – and how soon?’, says Bryan.

Most importantly, don’t get agitated or upset.

Written by Sarah Marinos.