How to ask for a pay rise – and get it!

At some point in your career you are going have to face your employer with that all-important request: the pay rise

In those instances when the matter is by no means an already pre-decided yes or no, using some of these hints and tips can help to sway your boss towards giving you a favourable response.

Timing is everything

When you have had a big success at work or you have exceeded targets, your boss is going to be more receptive to a conversation about your pay. Time your request for when you can demonstrate your value to the company.

Think about when you have performance reviews within the company – is it every six months or is it an annual review? If there is a review coming up, make a concerted effort to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Dress to impress
Do not go into your meeting without thinking about your appearance. You may know your boss quite well, depending on the size of the company, but this is not the time to let appearances slide.

Be appropriately attired for your position and ensure that you are clean and well-presented. This will send a good message to your boss and will also help to boost your confidence as you negotiate the subject.

Do it in person

Asking for a pay rise is important; therefore, do not give the impression that this is not a high-priority for you by making your request via email. Emails are too impersonal for this sort of request, so schedule a face-to-face meeting, even if it takes a little while to find a window in your employer’s schedule.

It is much harder to say no to a person’s face than to fire off a quick ‘sorry, not at this time’ email in reply to a request.

Do not appear desperate

Approach your request from a position of strength, highlighting what you can do for the company rather than how much you need the money. You want your employer to see you as an asset that they want to keep.

Talking about your mortgage repayments is not going to demonstrate to your boss why they should reward you, whereas talking about how much money you have saved the company or how effective you are in your position will give you added value.

Do not give your boss an ultimatum unless you are prepared to start job hunting! Most people resent being backed into a corner, so this is a very risky move to make unless you are confident that they cannot do without you.

Finally, be prepared to negotiate a future pay rise if it is not an option at the moment. Do not accept a ‘soon’ or a ‘one day’; instead, pin your boss down to a specific date and time in the future so that you have a finite wait.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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