How To Negotiate The Pay Raise You Deserve

You’ve been working well beyond your contracted responsibilities, putting in countless extra hours and hitting all your targets – you know, without a doubt, that you’re deserving of a pay rise. The problem is, like so many of us, the prospect of broaching the subject brings you out in a cold sweat.

Sound familiar?

While asking for a pay-rise may feel like a bold move, as a committed employee who is excelling in their role, it’s something that you’re perfectly entitled to do. The trick is knowing how to negotiate in a way that will communicate your value to the business.

Salary negotiation is a key career skill that’s worth learning – you’ll need to use that skill at some point in your career, after all. Here’s what you need to know to negotiate the raise you deserve.

Get your timing right

Making a request like a pay rise isn’t something that you should just spring on your manager in passing; it’s essential you’re tactical about your timing.

Consider factors such as work anniversaries, any new responsibilities you’ve picked up, or any extra time you’ve been spending at work. It’s also sensible to think about when your last pay rise was. If it was within the last year, it might not be reasonable to expect another one so soon. But, every company is different, so take your cue from typical business practice and wait for the right time to request some time with your manager.

If your company conducts annual pay reviews or employee performance reviews, this is a natural time to address the issue.

Come prepared

Before going into your meeting, plan what you’re going to say and how you might react to each possible response. If you’re going to ask for more money, you need to be able to articulate exactly why you’re worth the raise. Be prepared to talk through your biggest achievements and how you’ve been going above and beyond your post.

Also, know what the process is for pay reviews within the business; how it works, who is involved in making these kinds of decisions and how it has panned out for other people in the past.

When working out how much to ask for, take some time to research the typical salary for somebody in your role and what other companies are offering. From this, you can identify a benchmark salary for your position and experience.

Act the part

While you may think that you need to be confident and assertive when asking for a pay rise, this may not always be the most effective method. Influencing your way to a great negotiation is often about your ability to tailor your approach according to another person’s behaviour.

If your manager is coming across as cooperative and accommodating, a dominant approach may not get you the results you want. Tailor your behaviour according to theirs to give yourself the best chance for success. For example, if you know they’re a bit of a stickler for detail, make sure you’ve got plenty of evidence and quantifiable data to back up your points.

Asking for a raise is something that makes the best part of us feel nervous, but it shouldn’t be something that you shy away from. If you know your worth, you’ve done some research and you’ve come prepared, it can be easier to communicate to your manager exactly why you’re deserving of a pay increase. Be confident, get your timing right and prepare to negotiate.

This guest post was authored by Hannah Waters

Hannah is a freelance writer covering topics related to B2B concerns in the business and finance community. She has worked extensively with many leading lights and advocates in the small business world, including specialist insurers Hiscox and negotiations expert Denise Louise Jeffrey, and mainly covers topics helping SME owners and all employees get ahead at work. She is based in London.


Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.