How to ask your boss for a pay increase

How to ask your boss for a pay increase

There’s so much stigma around asking for a pay rise at work. But there’s an old saying that goes, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get!’

Asking for a pay increase can feel like a scary step and that’s understandable. But we’ve got a few handy tips to help you along the way.

Check your salary

If you’re unsure about whether your salary is accurate, we’ve developed a tool to help you out.

It’s better to have all the facts before you go into a meeting about your salary and finding out what other people in a similar job title are getting is a great place to start.

We have compiled a range of job roles and salaries based on research with businesses in the Sheffield City Region to give you an accurate valuation for over 150 jobs across our specialist areas of recruitment.

You simply need to enter details of your job role and voila, you’ll get an average for what other people with similar titles are getting.

Alternatively, do your research. Search for jobs with similar titles to yours and work out an average salary. It’s worth remembering that you want to search in your area – as jobs in other cities may pay higher or low for a number of reasons. Take London for example, the pay will be a lot higher due to living costs and other factors.

Speaking with recruitment consultants is another great way of determining whether your salary is right. They deal with ample different job roles every day and get pretty good at working out whether a salary is accurate or not.

Blow your own trumpet

If you think you deserve a pay rise, it’s time to explain why – and be specific! Management won’t want to hear wishy washy reasons, it’s crucial to back up your point with stats or real-life examples.

For example, if you were hired to increase social media presence and work on PR, give evidence of how social media following and engagement or how many backlinks you’ve gotten from live articles.

It’s the perfect time to mention any additional training you’ve done or qualifications you’ve bagged yourself along the way.

Of course, it’s not all about the facts and figures, your boss will no doubt want to hear all about soft skills you have that make you worthy of a pay rise!

Have you excelled as a team leader, and are now the person everyone comes to for help? Great. Have you stayed late in the evenings to make sure work gets done? Fantastic. Picked up tasks when other employees are off ill? Well done you.

Again, having clear examples of these soft skills in practice will favour you massively and will help your boss understand the situation from your perspective.

When to ask?

Like with most things in life, timing is key when asking for a pay rise. Chances are, you’ll have a performance review in your role. This is a great time to bring up your salary as you’ll have been discussing your work and, hopefully, your achievements too.

The end of the calendar/financial year is also a great time to ask, as it’s normally the time that businesses begin evaluating what the following year will look like.

It may feel like the right moment just never comes along and, in this case, you’ll have to take the wheel and book a meeting with your boss.

Give yourself a good half an hour, so you can say everything that you need to. It’s also worth booking your slot with timing in mind – avoid deadlines or dates that are stressful for the business! You want your boss to be focused on you, rather than something else that’s going on.

Present your request

This is the scary bit, and it’s completely normal to feel on edge, but remember that you’re well prepared!

Kick off the meeting by talking about your facts and examples, rather than jumping straight in with talks of pay. This will not only make you feel more relaxed, but your boss too.

If your boss asks what sort of salary you’re looking at, ask for slightly more than expected. This will leave more room for negotiation which is what you want.

It’s unlikely that you’ll get an answer there and then, so that’s definitely something to remember. Be sure not to push the decision, but ask if you can be kept in the loop.

If you have another job offer in the mix, it might be worth mentioning this to your boss or at least giving them a bit of a deadline, so you don’t miss any opportunities.

Remember, you won’t be the first to ask for a pay rise, and you certainly won’t be the last!


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