Want to ask for a pay rise? It totally makes sense to do so when you’ve been with a company and you’ve proven your value to them. It’s critical that you’re properly compensated for the value you offer to the organisation. Even though your boss knows when it’s time to offer you a raise, there is nothing stopping you from taking the initiative task for one yourself. But before talking to your employer, there are important points you need to understand first:


1. Timing is everything.


Do you think you’re due for a salary increase? Consider the following factors to help you decide whether or not it’s a suitable time to discuss salary with your management. Knowing the right time to ask can make all the difference.


Your workload has noticeably increased for at least the past six months.

On an individual level, consider you and your boss’s day-to-day. First, has your job changed or have your responsibilities increased since your salary was last reviewed? Second, have you been asked to take on new tasks at work that have caused personal difficulties like increased travel demands, or a newly complicated commute?

For at least the last six months, your workload has increased considerably? Has your work changed or your duties grown since your last salary review? Have you been assigned new responsibilities at work that have resulted in changes in accomplishing your work, such as upskilling and self-paced learning?


You’re due for a performance review.

If you know you have a performance review in the near future, it may be preferable to wait until then to ask for a pay rise. During your evaluation, your manager will discuss your employment. When your manager comes to the end of the conversation, he or she should bring up the possibility of a raise.If you believe you are entitled to a raise and they do not mention it, it is time to ask. Prepare for your evaluation ahead of time so you’ll be ready if they don’t award you a raise right away. How to prepare before speaking to your employer is further discussed below.


Your firm is doing well financially.

In addition to the above points about the value you add, if your company has recently signed a new client or opened a new branch, for example, your boss may be more willing to give you a raise or at least be open to discussion about your remuneration because revenue is flowing in. On the other hand, it is not a good time to ask for a raise if the current market trend is not in favour of your company. For example, if you work for a construction, finance or real estate company, it would a bad timing to bring up the salary discussion during a housing crisis.


Is your boss busy?

Asking your boss on a busy work night or 30 minutes before the end of the workday is not a good idea. This also applies for Zoom meetings. Wait for a time when your boss is receptive to talking. It may not be the best moment to ask for a raise if you know your boss is under a lot of stress or is concentrating on too many projects. Choose a time when they aren’t busy or schedule your meeting well ahead of time so your boss isn’t pushed to make a choice.

If you say you’d want to meet to talk about your job, they’ll probably assume you’re talking about salary. Paying attention to your manager’s moods and figuring out how to support them indicates maturity, which you can bring up in your salary discussion.


Have you recently done a great job on a project or task?

One of the best times to ask for a raise is shortly after you’ve successfully completed a project or been recognised for a job well done. Your hard work will remain fresh in your employer’s mind. How you approach the topic of a raise on a particular day is as important as the timing.


How often should you get a raise?

Knowing company policies and wage laws on how often you should get a salary increase can help you determine if it’s the right time to ask for one. Wait at least six months or until your probationary period is completed before asking for a raise if you’ve only recently started working. If you’ve been with the company for at least a year or more, you’re more likely to get a raise, and asking once a year is appropriate to keep in line with the cost of living and inflation, if your employer doesn’t address the issue first. If your company wants to discuss your remuneration during a performance review, this regulation may be different per company. If this is the case, plan your approach before setting a meeting with your superior.


End of the financial year

A financial year is a 12-month period used by businesses to plan their budgets and file their taxes. Employers are likely to make hiring and salary plans for the coming year at the end of that period (this may be at the beginning of the New Year or at eh start if the new financial year).


2. What’s your number?


It is best to do your research about salary figures before your meeting.

• Ask for a specific and reasonable percentage increase. The range of 3 to 5 percent is the most usual adjustment. If you think your present income isn’t up to par with what you could be earning, this shouldn’t dissuade you from asking for more, but it will give you a good sense of where to start.

• By simply speaking with recruiters and studying similar professions and their pay ranges, you can acquire some pretty valuable information. Take your time doing your research because some companies are open about their pay scales. Take note of whether or not you are currently in the low end of the spectrum for your job. Although salary bands are tight, knowing where you stand allows you to make a good argument for a raise.

• You can also talk to your co-employees and obtain some insight into how your firm generally tackles wage hikes so you can set your expectations and know what to expect. Check with professional organisations in your sector or ask others in relevant industry groups. And since every circumstance is different, look for patterns and trends.

• Research the market by reviewing salary websites that provide broad data. Keep an open mind while on the web, because titles, locations, and of course, qualifications do vary widely, but the internet is a great place to start. And be sure to check out Indeed salaries to see what other people in your role and location are making on average.

• Use Salary Tools:

a. Indeed Salary Calculator

You can use Indeed’s Salary Calculator to get a free, personalised pay range based on your location, industry and experience.

Indeed’s salary information comes from over 450 million data points. Using this tool, you’ll be able to see the national salary trend for your job title. You can select the state or locality where you work to get a pay rate that’s appropriate for your city.

b. What’s the Salary?

The What’s the Salary website’s objective is to“promote equal, transparent and fair salaries regardless of age, gender and tenure”. Using this tool will help empower you in a negotiation process in terms of salary. Even if the job description specifies a compensation range, you can use What’s the Salary website to see if the employer is ready to pay an additional $5,000-$10,000 more than the indicated salary. You can also use it to examine how much you’re being paid compared to your colleagues.

c. Payscale

Both traditional and non-traditional sources of salary data are used to collect, evaluate, and analyze Payscale’s data. They aim to help users make clear, confident decisions with by using their AI-powered compensation software. From data collection and validation to the distribution of insights, Payscale’s four-step crowdsourcing technique claims to ensure accuracy and transparency.

d. Other options to check include Glassdoor, Seek, and Better World of Work


“I look at what titles better describe what I’m doing and what that title gets paid. Then I have a meeting with my supervisor where we talk about a title and you pay adjustment and I campaign the word adjustment over and over again and when they try to say promotion or raise, you say,- no, this is an adjustment because what we’re talking about,(firmly and compassionately) is that this is what I am offering our company and this is what I would get paid offering these services any other company in the marketplace. Good luck.”


3. The why’s and how’s.


Prepare your case and prove why you deserve more money. This is the most important step in that can break or make the deal. Ask yourself the following questions to help you identify your why’s.

• what positive feedback have I received?
• what recent result am I most proud of?
• where have I taken initiative?
• where have I made the biggest impact?

Your boss will want to know why you are deserving of a raise. Consider the abilities you’ve acquired and the responsibilities you’ve taken on as a result of your work experience. Explain to them that your job description has changed and that you believe you’re ready to take the next step in your career. By demonstrating your value as an employee, you can persuade your boss to offer you a raise.

You can start by saying something like this, “I’m grateful for the challenges and responsibilities I have taken on over the last year and a half. I’ve consistently exceeded my goals, and I’d like to talk about adjusting my salary to reflect this higher level of contribution.”

If your company is more data driven, your pitch should include more data and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) –

“Since my last raise, over a year ago, I’ve taken on many additional responsibilities. I’m now overseeing our five junior level employees.

And as you mentioned last week, our results in that area have increased by almost 10% in the last quarter. I’ve addressed concerns we had about procurement’s relations with vendors, reducing P&L costs in the last quarter. Finally, with accounts receivable, our late payments are down by 40%. Can we discuss adjusting my salary to a level that reflects this new work?”

Another examples is this, “Launched a rebranded company website, which resulted in 20% month over month increase in site visits last quarter.”

If your responsibilities are not quantifiable, you should still use numbers and figures to illustrate what you have accomplished. If you’re a nurse for example, you could analyze the hospitals’ overall numbers and compare or apply those to your own achievements.

For example, “Since my last performance evaluation, our unit has consistently handled higher case count without adding any staff members. Our capacity has expanded since we took over that extra wing of the hospital and my patient care surveys have higher satisfaction ratings than average. Are you open to reevaluating my compensation given the increased workload, while still exceeding our service level goals?”

You should refer to work you’ve already done not work you plan to do in the future. Communicate your confidence with strong words that assume cooperation. Make a case based on the value you bring, not your personal situation. Although your rent may have just gone up, this should not be the reasoning behind why you need a raise.

We recommend making an inventory of all your existing responsibilities and how well they are being carried out. Compare this to your previous responsibilities and expectations 6 months or a year ago.Most of the time, if an employer sees more work and experience, this gives them a good reason to pay you more.

Bring it all to the table and ask for a review with your supervisors and HR. Also, ask them to give you some criticism. You can’t go wrong if you can demonstrate them why they want you and how you can help the company.

“You need to prove your worth, jot down all of the things that you’ve done to add value that have been above and beyond the role that you’re doing. Because in my opinion, if you’ve got a job description, and you’re just meeting the criteria of that job description, there’s absolutely no need for a salary increase beyond CPI because you’re doing the job that you’re paid to do, so like, what additional value are you adding? And how do you articulate that takes a little bit of confidence.“
– Victoria Devine, She’s on the Money host


4. What do you think is your manager thinking?


Most managers want to hold on to great employees. Managers have the responsibility to understand how valuable you are to the company, not just how well-liked you are.

Do I have money to say yes to this request? Your manager might want to give you a raise but not have the money in their budget. In larger companies there may be salary bands for exactly this purpose and going outside the range can be difficult.

What would this mean for other employee’s salaries? When negotiating with a single person, your boss must take into account all those at similar levels.

Is the amount you’re asking reasonable? If you ask for too much, it’s likely to come seen as naive and even narcissistic if you ask for something ridiculously excessive, such as doubling your pay. Be aware of your worth, but also be humble.

Am I worried about losing this person? If you answer ‘no’ to a raise request, the implication is always, “If you say no, I might go somewhere else.” Managers will be far more prepared to go to great lengths to get a raise than to risk losing a great team. Managers want to keep good people on board.


5. Prepare for a no.


Yes, even thinking about it, this one aches a little bit. Don’t feel frustrated if your boss rejects your request. Instead, ask your manager or employer what you can do to get a raise in the future, and show your professional courtesy. You’ll be able to figure out what you need to do to get that raise if you have a supportive manager.


6. Know when to put yourself back on the market.


If you got turned down but still seeking a better compensation, put yourself back on the job market. Check out how well your CV performs and see whether you can get the ideal employer to pay you what you want. Until you look, you never know what opportunities are available.

To sum up, the corporation is investing more in you as a result of your higher income, so make sure you’re up for the challenge. It’s typical for individuals to be afraid of the worst, but if you’ve taken the time to review your performance and believe that the time is perfect for you to ask for a raise, you’ll have the guts to do so.


Talking to your employer about a salary increase – with sample scripts


1. Rehearse

It is normal to feel nervous about talking to your manager about your salary increase. One approach to deal with this is to write and practice a screenplay. You’ll be able to stick to it even if you’re nervous, if you practice it enough. Focus on the professional rather than emotional reasons why you deserve this rise throughout your script. Make sure to use a positive tone. It is also important to have your request in writing for documentation purposes. You can give the when you have the discussion.


2. Set a meeting

It’s ideal to ask for a raise in person and in private. If you’re not in the same location as your manager, you can have the meeting over a video call.

Do not ask for a raise without making an appointment beforehand. A closed-door meeting would be ideal. Avoid talking about it in public places like the kitchen or the corridor at work. Don’t ask for a raise in an email if you can avoid it.

Here are some lines you can use in the meeting description or in an email.

“Would it be alright if we spent some time during my performance review discussing my compensation?”

“I’d like to set a short meeting to discuss my compensation. Please let me know if this time works for you.”

You should give asking for a raise the same seriousness as you would give a job interview or a major presentation, dress accordingly. Consider dressing a little more formally for this meeting, even if your business has a casual dress code. Your appearance can indicate to your boss that you are aware of the importance of the conversation.


3. Start with an opener

Begin your conversation by clearly stating the purpose of the meeting. You may consider the following opening lines:

“Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. In my current role, I’m excited to keep working towards key company goals and grow my personal responsibilities. As a result, I’d like to discuss my salary.”

“Thank you for taking this meeting. I’m excited to share some of my recent accomplishments with you and discuss my salary. Is now a good time for that?”


4. Follow up with specifics

If your manager is interested in continuing the conversation, give them specifics: tell them how much you’d want to raise your salary, explain the research you’ve done to get at that amount, and end with instances of your work that show why you should be given a raise. Include a metric that clearly communicates the value when you share an example of your work.

Here are a few examples of accomplishments that have been backed up by data:

“Over the last few months, I planned and then executed our largest client event to date. Attendee feedback significantly surpassed last year’s event satisfaction scores, averaging an 8 out of 10. Lead generation is also up 10% since last year.”

“I’ve consistently exceeded my sales quota, most recently reaching 128% of my monthly goal.”


Here’s an example script for asking for a raise:

“Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. In my current role, I’m excited to keep working towards key company goals and grow my personal responsibilities. As a result, I’d like to discuss my salary.”

“Based on the research I’ve done, which includes looking at averages for my job title in this metro area and considering my tenure here, my years of experience and skill set, a salary increase of X% is appropriate.”

“In the time since my last salary adjustment, I’ve worked on several initiatives that have added significant value to the company. For instance, in the last few months, I [insert example your most impressive accomplishment]. These achievements have made me ready for a raise.”

“Does that sound fair?”

Throughout your pitch, avoid words that could undercut your position, such as: believe, feel, think, just, only, might. These words can make it seem that you are not feeling confident or sure—and if you convey uncertainty, your manager may become uncertain, too. Go into this conversation knowing that you deserve a raise and communicate your confidence with strong words that leave little room for negotiation.


5. Be ready for questions

During the meeting, you can expect your manager to ask you follow-up questions, like details of your recent accomplishments or the salary research you’ve done.

If you feel intimidated, return back to your evidence to strengthen your request. Ask your own questions to understand where they’re coming from. Use phrases such as “Can you tell me more about…” and “What I’m hearing…”.This can create space in the conversation for more understanding.

Here’s an example of how a conversation may unfold:

Manager: “Thank you for that overview. While I agree that you’ve contributed a great deal to the company, a raise of X% may not be possible at this time.”

Employee: “From my research, I’ve learned that X% is a reasonable increase and in line with what I’ve contributed. Can you tell me more about why that increase isn’t possible today?”

Manager: “That amount is not something I have in the budget right now but it’s something I could make a case for in the future.”

Employee: “That makes sense. What I’m hearing is that you agree that my receiving a raise is appropriate but maybe not right now. How can I help you make that case in the near future?”

Of course, there is the possibility that you receive a rejection when you ask for a raise. In this case, you should learn more about why you are being rejected. Ask questions such as:

  • “Are there skills or accomplishments you’d like to see from me before increasing my compensation?”
  • “Are you satisfied with my performance overall?”
  • “Is there a better time for us to have this conversation in the near future?”

It’s also normal at this stage to negotiate about the salary increase you initially suggested. You may need to ask for a lower amount if you are met by a lot of resistance.

If a raise doesn’t seem possible at this time, you may consider asking about other elements of your compensation, such as vacation time or flexible hours.

“What I would do is make sure you’re connecting those things to the business strategy. So sometimes when we’re having conversations about a pay rise, we kind of fail to forget that the ultimate goal for businesses to achieve their strategic objectives. So if we align what we’re asking for, with that business strategy, we’re going to have more chance of success when it comes to talk about pay, because the employer wants to hear that we understand the needs of the business and that we want to deliver on those.”
– Shelley, HR Professional, My Millennial Money podcast


6. Thank your manager

Thank your management for their time, regardless of how the conversation went. Send them a follow-up email later that day or the next day that summarises your reasons for asking for a raise and include a synopsis of the chat you had with them.

This email will make it easier for your manager to speak with someone else about your raise if they need to do so on your behalf. This email can be used as a record of the conversation if they reject your request for a raise. You can use this email as a reference if you decide to request a raise again at a later date.

Best of luck with getting your raise!

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