How to ask for a pay rise


Asking for a pay rise is never easy!

Many people find asking for a salary increase a daunting task. It’s never easy to approach your boss and ask for more money, especially when budgets are tight. Some find it awkward while others worry that asking for a raise will make them appear pushy or demanding. But it doesn’t have to be that way.   
The reality is that asking for a pay rise is a necessary step for anyone who wants to maximise their worth and achieve their financial goals. It shows your employer that you value your contributions, are committed to your job and want to be compensated fairly.
So why is it so difficult to ask for a pay rise? Typically, people simply don’t know how to best approach it. From preparing your case to having a contingency plan, we can help you navigate this step.   
Being able to ask for a pay rise is more important than ever. Our Hays Salary Guide demonstrates that the overall value of pay rises is increasing and 83 per cent of employers plan to increase salaries this year. The value of individual salary increases is rarely set in stone, so to make sure you maximise the value of yours, be prepared for this conversation with your boss.  
Learn how to ask for a pay rise

Discover practical tips and advice to further your career in Romania today. Your six-point plan to prepare for a pay rise request. 
1. Prepare your reasoning

For your salary increase request to be successful, you need to first and foremost demonstrate to your boss why you deserve the raise. 
It’s not enough to point to the increased cost of living. Instead, you need to ensure you have specific and quantifiable evidence to present when asking for a salary increase.   
Start by considering what you’ve achieved since your last pay increase that warrants a raise today? Prepare a list of recent achievements that exceed your current set objectives. It may help to look back at your last performance review or your original job description. Then list any changed or increased work volumes or duties you’re now undertaking and extra projects you’ve been involved in.   
For each accomplishment, align it with how it benefitted the organisation. The aim is to provide strong evidence to justify a pay rise, so focus on outcomes. For example, perhaps you have brought in 22 per cent more business year-on-year, are managing a 25 per cent increase in the overall volume of work or were involved in a project that exceeded objectives. 
Be proud of your work and include examples of achievements that you are particularly pleased with, too. This could include a major milestone you achieved, successful teamwork, or a process improvement that has long-term benefits. 
Whatever evidence you gather, remember to demonstrate the greater value you now bring to your employer.

2. Research comparable salaries  

Next, research the salary you feel your performance and results are worth by reviewing recent salary guides. This allows you to back up your request with evidence from the current market and demonstrate that the salary you are asking for is in line with your market value.
Our Hays Salary Checker is a quick and easy tool that helps you understand typical salaries and your potential earnings based on your job title and location.
3. Set a meeting and keep your composure    

Once you are ready, ask your manager for a meeting to review your salary. It’s important not to spring this meeting on your boss. Instead, book a time with your manager and let them know that the objective of the meeting is to present your case for a salary review.   
When it comes time for the meeting, maintain a professional manner. Take control but remain approachable and calm. Avoid becoming emotional and don’t discuss any personal reasons for why you might need extra money. Instead, present the business evidence you’ve gathered to support your pay rise request. If you’ve gathered appropriate proof, your grounds for an increase will be hard to ignore. List your evidence to help keep the meeting on track, and to give yourself notes to refer to so you remember to present all your points.  
Don’t expect an answer straight away when asking for a pay rise. In all likelihood, your boss will need to review their budget, talk to HR and draft the necessary documentation before a potential pay increases become official.   
At the end of the meeting, let your boss know that you’ll follow up with an email summarising your request. Your email should be a clear, concise and accurate representation of the main points you presented and discussed. This provides a written record of the conversation and ensures there’s no room for confusion or misunderstanding. 

4. This is a two-way conversation  

Entering the meeting with high expectations of big increases could put your manager on the back foot. You want a positive reaction from your manager when asking for a pay rise, so present your reasons, and then actively listen to their feedback. 
You will have your own points you want to get across but be mindful that it is a conversation, and your manager may have valuable feedback for you that can be used to work towards in the future.
5. Be willing to negotiate  

Your boss may want to negotiate the value of your salary increase, so be prepared to discuss the salary you feel your results, and market value, are worth. Throughout this conversation, remember your justifications for asking for a pay rise in the first place. 
Also, consider how much you are willing to compromise – it can help to have a salary range in mind instead of a single figure, with a top and a bottom amount that you think would be fair. 

6. Have a contingency plan  

You should also have a fall-back position in case your employer cannot afford to increase your salary at this point in time. For example, can you agree on a date for another pay review in three or six months? Or could your boss instead offer additional benefits, such as paying for additional study or membership of a professional body, or providing you with extra annual leave?

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