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How to ask for a salary increase

How to ask for a salary increase


There may come a time in your career where you need to broach the topic of getting a pay rise with your manager. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’ve just reached that point! Asking for a pay rise should be a pre-planned event and one that you carefully prepare for.

Follow our guide to asking your boss for a pay rise.


  • Recognise the right time
  • Research salaries
  • Book a meeting
  • Lay out your achievements
  • Be clear
  • Leave a little wiggle room
  • Be confident
  • Prepare to make a plan B


How to politely ask your boss for a pay rise


1.   Recognise the right time

To ask for a pay rise, there needs to be a good reason behind it. Most people want a pay rise, but not everyone is due one. The following are all good reasons to ask for a raise:

  • You’ve been given new responsibilities
  • You got a promotion
  • You successfully completed a big project
  • You’re more skilled than before


2.   Research salaries

When asking for a raise, do a little digging on the average salaries for your role or what your competitors are paying. This will help you decide if your salary raise expectations are fair, and will also save your hiring manager the job of having to carry out the research themselves.


3.   Book a meeting

You could use any performance reviews as an opportunity to discuss an increase. Performance reviews are a good option because you’ll have just spent the last hour discussing your performance. But if you can’t wait for the performance review, book a meeting to discuss your request - somewhere private where you won’t be disturbed.


4.   Lay out your achievements

Don’t expect your hiring manager to automatically know what you’ve achieved. They have a lot on their plate and need you to lay the information out for them. Prepare concrete examples of your progress and successes, and use numbers and KPIs where possible to make your case more persuasive.


5.   Be clear

Try not to dance around the subject of your raise. It’s best to be clear about what sort of an increase you would like to get. As a general rule, a 10% increase is usually a fair request!


6.   Leave a little wiggle room

Bear in mind that your boss may try to knock you down a little in your raise. So be prepared to negotiate, lower your expectations, and compensate for this by suggesting other benefits that can be added to your package instead, like private healthcare or a bonus scheme.


7.   Be confident

When you walk into the meeting, take a deep breath and speak confidently. Don’t be timid or feel you’re not worthy of asking for a raise. This will only make your hiring manager think you’re not ready for an increase. Instead, show your boss that you believe in yourself and speak with conviction.


8.   Prepare to make a plan B

You might not exit your meeting with a raise but at the very least, you should leave the meeting with a plan to get it. If your manager doesn’t think you’re quite ready for an increase yet, be sure to put a plan together to clarify what’s needed of you to get the salary you’re looking for.


A raise is on the horizon

Hopefully, by now you feel more confident in your mission to get a salary increase, and we hope you realise it involves some serious preparation to give you the best possible shot! If a raise is out of the question and you’ve set off to find a higher-paying job, be sure to check out our interview tips to help you land the highest possible salary.


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Vanessa Ramkissoon

Vanessa Ramkissoon | Recruitment Content Expert