How To Ask For a Pay Increase

When I was younger someone told me to never ever ask about pay. Not during a job interview, not during a review. As this was rude and would seem like you were only there for money. I was told that if they wanted to offer you more money, they would. What BS. So for years I didn’t until one of my managers said as a friendly bit of advice, I should start asking for money and it clicked that I was on a crappy pay because I didn’t know my worth and I hadn’t been demanding it along the way.

I’ve worked for a few companies and had a few different careers and the biggest thing I’ve learned is that people won’t just hand you something, you have to go and ask for it.

So where do you start when asking for a pay rise…

Salary Benchmark

Start off with finding out where your salary sits in the current market. Specifically look for your current location because a salary in Devon differs greatly to a salary in central London.

It’s always dangerous to ask colleagues about salaries so avoid this if possible as there are several ways you can find this information. Glassdoor, Total Jobs, and Indeed. Glassdoor have a tool where you can check current and previous salaries at your company too. You can also speak to reputable recruitment agencies or tactfully ask people in the same industry as you.

Get the timing right

Don’t just blurt out “Can I get a pay rise” over lunch. Ask for a meeting with your line manager or wait for a scheduled review if you have them. Also consider how long you’ve been in the company because if you’ve been there a month, it is unlikely that you are going to get a pay rise so soon. After 6 months or a year or with any promotion or increase in responsibilities.

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Come with cold hard facts

Prepare your case on what you have done to deserve that pay rise. Compile lists of projects you’ve completed, any money you’ve saved the company or what new responsibilities you’ve taken on since starting . Build your case on what you have done at your time in the company.


Prepare what you are going to say. It is never easy talking about money and it can feel a little awkward so the more you’ve rehearsed what you are going to say the easier it will be and once you’ve done it, you’ll wonder what you were worrying about in the first place. Also the more professional the better. I’d recommend creating a handout or a presentation of all the things to discussed above.

Adopt the door in the face technique

I would always ask for a little bit more than what you want. For instance, you want £25,000, ask for £27,000 they then may say no and you say well how about £25,000 or they say yes and you get more than you had anticipated. It’s a psychological technique where people are more likely to say yes after saying no to something big.

Prepare for a no

They may so no and give their list of reasons, unfortunately some companies don’t want to pay their employees what they deserve but counteract this and ask what do I have to do to get a pay rise and ask for objectives and tasks that need to be completed and ask for a follow up review in a few months. Also get it in writing so that if once you’ve completed those tasks they still say no, you have some form of evidence.

Look at the current market

If it’s still a no. Maybe have a look elsewhere. As I mentioned in my post about when it’s time to look for a new job. The market is candidate driven and it’s never been a better time for job seekers to look for another job and ask for what they deserve

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