Show me the Money! – How to Ask for a Raise

careers Aug 13, 2018

How to Ask for a Pay Rise and get it

Your company does not want to pay you more money. Sorry but that’s true. They want to keep all the money for their bottom line/shareholders/projects/warchest.

You don’t get rich by giving money to the people who actually make the money! If you do that they’ll expect more…

Ahh the annual payrise. It used to be common but has increasingly dried up; that 2007/2008 financial crisis may be over ten years old but its effects are still felt in terms of pay.


So. How do you get more money?

Option 1: Get a new job that pays more (check out our plethora of related content to help with this)

Option 2: Start a Business (unless you’re lucky and/or smart that’s a longer term proposition and probably quite a lot of work, we can help with that too of course)

Option 3: Ask for a pay rise


OPTION 3 Ask for a pay rise

Ooh, scary. What if they say no?

Well sod that sort of thinking, let’s get you a strategy to ask for a payrise and get it. You have nothing to lose by asking for a pay rise – at worst they say ‘no’ and you have reminded them of all the you’re awesome at, which means you’re in a better position for next year’s pay reviews. In the UK the law is clear – You CANNOT be fired for asking for a pay rise – please check your local employment laws beyond the UK.

But here’s the thing – work does not care if your travel is expensive. That childcare is expensive. That you had a burst pipe. Sure, a mom and pop business might, your manager probably will personally, but ultimately there has to be a clear business reason for you to get more money.


6 Steps to Getting a Pay Rise. Let’s do this.


1 Do Some Research

What other people earn in similar roles at other companies, if it’s more than you you have a solid start. If it’s way less than what you’re on, well, keep quiet about that point. What state the company is in financially?

If there’s no money, there’s no money – you have to time it right.


  1. Build a case

You’ve got to be the very best – like no one ever was

If there’s someone better than you at your job, you probably need to do some training, some development, can you job shadow them, get them to mentor you, do some external training, do something off your own back?

CfG Turbo has a bunch of content to develop your skills.

Google Digital Garage has a plethora of digital skills training for free.

Udemy is filled with courses, admittedly of varying quality.

If Karen has undertaken training and is better than you at her job, why do you deserve a pay rise instead of Karen?

Get good scrub, or get out.


How have you affected the bottom line?

Simple one, how have you helped the company to make more money? Or make cost savings? What clients have you brought in? What sales have you made? What initiatives have you led on? How have you made things more efficient? How have you effectively negotiated the workplace?


What initiative you have demonstrated?

Leading on from that point – what have you done without being asked? What projects have you initiated? What ideas have you thrown into the pot? What have you made better without someone telling you?


What responsibilities you have taken on?

How has your job role grown? You can rewrite your job spec and compare it to the one you took up. Covering someone else’s work is a big one and happens a lot – make sure you highlight it.


What have your appraisals/performance reviews said?

These can be an untapped source of confidence in your abilities. If your manager has said you are amazing, then take that with you



Remember – you are building a case as to why you deserve more money. This is not the time to be shy about your achievements. Stack them up, show the value


  1. Make an appointment

Ask for a meeting. Pick a good time: busy Monday mornings are out, Friday afternoon when people are winding down are not good either. You want to approach them when they’re relatively relaxed and not about to rush off to another meeting.

You know your boss best – would they prefer advance notice of what it’s about? If so, tell them “I’d like to book a meeting with you to discuss my salary”, if not, simply book a meeting at the best time. If your boss is notorious for not keeping meetings with staff, make sure they know that you want this meeting to take place – again you’ll know them better than I ever could.


  1. Practice Negotiation and Practice the Meeting

It’s a learned skill – can you do a course? It goes back to point 2 – you gotta be good at negotiation. Know anyone who’s a tough negotiator who you could practice with? Any debate clubs you could join? Anyone you could watch and learn from?

Practice opening the meeting – figure out exactly what you want to say and how you’ll say it. You want to be positive and confident, so practice it. If you’re nervous you really don’t want to trip over your opening statement.



  1. The Meeting


Dress for it – but if you’re asking for a payrise then you should be looking your best at all times anyway, of course it depends on your place of work but neat and tidy, polished shoes, smart. It’s no good trying to dupe them that you look the part in just one meeting.

Open positively – thank them for their time, explain that you enjoy working for the company and doing your job before outlining your achievements over the last year. Go on to explain how you expect to positively impact the organization in the coming year too. Next, if you have compared your salary to the industry standard and found your pay to be lower, go on to explain what others in similar roles earn.

“I am achieving a great deal in my role, delivering over and above targets and taking on additional responsibilities. Similar roles earn X which is Y% above my current salary. I’d like to discuss how we can close that gap.”



No soft words, no “hoping for” or “looking for” or “maybe”. Tell them what you want.

“I would like to see my pay increase by ….” not “I would like an increase in the region of” – you have done our research, you know what you are worth, so ask for it.

Focus on the value you provide – remember they don’t care that you have high travel costs or want to buy a house, it’s all about what you can give them.

Stop, wait, give them time to process it and respond.

Silence is an incredibly powerful tool when used properly, and they’ll appreciate being given some time to think. You may get an answer right away, or you may have to…


  1. Wait

You probably won’t get an answer straight away. It’ll have to go through a process.

Either way follow up with an email reiterating what was said, so you both have a record. And if you were successful it never hurts to ask if it can be backdated


What if they say no?

Ask what it would take to get one. Take heed of their feedback. What else could you do though? Would working from home decrease your costs? Are there any additional benefits you can take? Can your schedule be changed? Is there any training they could pay for?

Look for other ways to affect your own bottom line.



It’s probably not a wise idea to give an ultimatum.


Most people are replaceable, and threats are rarely taken kindly, even if it will take time to develop someone to have your knowledge skills and experience.

Instead take this meeting as an opportunity to learn more about what your company wants, and use it to arm yourself for the next time.


6 Steps to earning more money by asking for a pay rise.

It’s on you now – go do the work, and let us know how you get on in the comments below.



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