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admin  •  May 14, 2020

Feeling like you deserve a pay rise and actually successfully asking for one are very different things! It can be daunting to ask your boss for more money, but there are some simple and effective things you can do beforehand to make your case even stronger and you feel more confident. And a few things that you absolutely shouldn’t do!


  1. Research

Before entering into any financial negotiations, you firstly need to be aware of where you stand in your market. Spend some time looking at job adverts of similar roles in other organisations to see where your salary lies in comparison – but make sure you’re looking at companies of a similar size and demographic. Talk to human resources to ask where you sit in the pay grade / scale, as this could determine when you’re liable for a pay rise. The more equipped you are about your position the better.

  1. Choose your timing

Monday morning or Friday afternoon aren’t the best time for meetings, so don’t use these slots to talk to your boss about money. Book in a meeting time in a private place that’ll allow you both the time to talk professionally and thoroughly.

Likewise if your boss is about to go away and is busy with his/her own handover, or your company is going through a particularly busy period, it may be worth waiting.

Remember, timing is everything.

  1. Be specific

So you’ve got the meeting booked in, great, now you just need to think about what you’re going to say. Don’t panic! This is a great opportunity to really think about what you’ve done that’s gone above and beyond your current role (after all, that’s why you deserve the pay rise isn’t it?)

Be as specific as you can, and use clear examples of where you’ve excelled and contributed to the business.. Highlight areas or times that you’ve supported your team or gone beyond the call of duty for your company. 

  1. Listen to the feedback 

Whatever the response, you need to listen carefully. Asking for a pay rise is a discussion, which may mean that it’s an opportunity for you to get some advice from your boss on how to achieve it in the future, if not now.

Perhaps, in lieu of a pay rise, there are ways you could save some money, such as working from home one day a week, which would save on travel costs. Keep an open mind and be responsive and receptive to the feedback – especially if it isn’t exactly what you wanted to hear! Remember you can ask for other benefits that could help you – like extra holidays.

Most importantly reaffirm your commitment to the role and the company.

  1. Follow up

After the meeting take the time to send your boss an email putting down exactly what you’ve discussed, including any subsequent meeting or review dates. This is your way of keeping a paper trail of your meetings.

Be polite and thank him/her for their time and feedback.


  1. Get the timing wrong

Remember how we said that timing was everything? Well that goes the other way too. If your company has recently made some redundancies, or profits have taken a bit of a dive now is probably not the best time to go in asking for a pay rise.

However, if you’ve invested your efforts in your company and want them to invest further in you in the future this could be an opportunity to step up and excel in your role. It could be worth your while when things are on the up again.

  1. Complain

You’ve been at the company for over a year, and you’ve worked really hard so you’re overdue for a raise right? Wrong! No one likes to be complained to and if you begin your meeting by making demands, frankly, all your boss will hear is a whole lot of noise.

If you walk in the door with a sense of entitlement, you’ll walk back out with nothing, so remember it’s not about what you ‘deserve’, it’s what you’ve ‘earned’.

  1. Get personal

Are you and your partner starting a family? Is your cat sick, or are you moving house? A change in personal circumstances is not applicable when asking for a pay rise. You need to keep all your personal stuff firmly at the door, and only ask for more money if you feel you’ve been working hard enough to justify it.

  1. Issue an ultimatum

You may think your biggest bargaining chip is your place at that desk, but it’s never a card to play when asking for a pay rise. Threatening to leave if you don’t get what you’re asking for is not only a dangerous tactic to play, but could upset the people you work for and with.

If you do go down this road then make sure you follow through. Otherwise your boss will know you were lying and any future at your job may be tainted.

The choices here are not more money or no money!

  1. Get emotional

If the meeting didn’t go quite the way you wanted don’t get upset, angry or defensive. There could be a hundred reasons that your boss can’t sign off on a pay rise right now, which may not necessarily be to do with your future there or your performance.

If you get emotional you could ruin your chances of re-negotiating in future, as your boss will be less willing to get into a challenging conversation with you.

Keep calm, professional and polite at all times.

If you earn a bit more money it can be easier to pay off any debt you have quicker, but if it doesn’t go to plan there are still plenty of ways you can cut costs and save money. Check out some other blogs from 118 118 money, which are full of tips and hints on how to save.

And if you’ve followed our tips and been successful we’d love to hear from you! Or share a top tip of your own.