You’ve been working really hard, kicking goals and making a really solid contribution. Isn’t it time that your boss noticed and rewarded you with a pay rise?

But how do you approach this awkward conversation? Here are our top five tips.

Do your research

When you ask for a pay rise you are essentially asking your organisation to invest more money in you. For your boss, it’s a business decision – so it’s a good idea to approach the negotiation with a prepared business case. In other words – you need to do your research.

You will need accurate and up to date information on market rates for your sector, especially those relating to organisations that are direct competitors to your own.

On top of this, find out how valuable your specific skill set is. If you were to walk out of your position tomorrow, how hard would it be for your organisation to replace you? If you can show that your skill set is in high demand then you’ll have a much better chance of negotiating a pay rise.

Crucially, you need to find out how well your organisation is doing financially. If your organisation is recording big profits then you can make the case that you deserve a share.


Create a pitch

It’s a good idea to put your business case in writing. Even if you plan on having a face-to-face discussion about your salary, having a prepared statement about why you think you should get a raise shows that you mean business. It will also help your boss, who might need to take your case to the next level.

When you are writing your case ensure that you stick to the facts. Don’t include emotive language – at the end of the day, this is business.


Meeting face to face

This is a conversation that is best had face-to-face. Stay calm and professional. Avoid emotional body language and be aware of your body language – crossed arms look defensive whereas a relaxed posture looks confident.

Use positive, active language. For example, phases like, “I believe that my results show that I am deserving of a pay rise,” is more powerful than, “I have been working really hard and I think I deserve a pay rise.”


Timing is everything

The obvious time to negotiate a pay rise is around the time of your annual performance appraisal. It’s possible that you will already be inline for a pay rise at this time, and if not your boss will be expecting to chat to you about your salary.

If you want to negotiate a pay rise outside of your performance appraisal you’ll still need to consider the timing. Do you need to make your pay rise pitch before the start of the new financial year (so that your salary increase can be budgeted for accordingly)? Are there peek busy times for your organisation that you need to avoid? Remember, getting the timing right is a crucial part of the negotiation process.


Be prepared to play the long game

Think through what you will do if your request is denied. A potential next step is to discuss a time frame to review the situation – it’s then up to you to keep on top of market developments so that you are ready to state your case more firmly.



Take a read of our previous blogs for more advice


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