Tips and Tricks For Asking for a Pay Raise

Securing the pay raise you deserve is vitally important during this period of high inflation. It’s arguably the best way to meet the rising costs of living. After all, the alternative is not asking (and not getting), so having to cut back on expenses!  

Knowing how to ask for a pay raise can feel awkward to navigate. Talking about money is not something many people are accustomed to, but knowing how to approach your boss for a raise is an important thing to get comfortable with when it comes to your career.

Put simply: you get paid for your work, and if you feel you’ve outgrown your salary through consistently working above and beyond your role, you have the right to ask for compensation. So, how to ask for a raise in pay?

Know your worth

Before anything else, you should work out how your salary relates to the wider market. There are many salary surveys out there that can help you benchmark what you should be paid. 

It’s undoubtedly a good idea to do your homework before you put in a request – it will help you know your worth and make you feel more confident in your ask. Conversations with colleagues about pay can be difficult, so start by looking at job adverts for similar roles to your level and compare what they pay.

If available where you are, LinkedIn Salary is a great way of doing this discreetly, as it breaks down salaries by job title, company and location to ensure what you’re asking are in line with industry standards.

Timing is everything

Choosing when you talk to your boss about your salary could be key. Think about the bigger picture. For example, when do budgets for the year get laid out?

Photo by Jose P. Ortiz on Unsplash.

Timing is everything. Find out when raises are granted as this will indicate when the most money will be in the pot, but also be opportunistic – if a peer has suddenly left, your bosses may be nervous about losing someone else – it’s always worth it asking then.

But don’t wait too long! Many ask for a raise during their annual review – this is likely too late. Again, knowing how your employer runs things is essential to help you with your action plan.

It depends on your company, as all businesses approach this slightly differently, and it depends whether yours has a very fixed structure for pay rises and promotions or if it’s a little more fluid. Either way, it’s a good idea to make sure your manager and leadership team are aware of the part you played (in success) at the time, and remind them again when your review comes around to make sure it is top of mind in their decision-making.

Look at it from their point of view

Try to get inside your boss’ head and know what goals they face in the coming year. If they’re tasked with growing sales by 10 per cent, what skills can you offer to help meet that goal? 

Talk to peers and a mentor or colleague who’s more senior than you to find out what they’re looking for. 

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash.

In vying for a raise, you might be tempted to put your coworkers down or talk about how you’re better than them. However, comparing how much more your coworkers make or how much harder you work does not make a good case for a raise. Pitting yourself against other coworkers does not make yourself look better and may even backfire by leaving a wrong impression on your boss that you’re being arrogant and not a good team player. Moreover, comparing coworkers in conversation directs the conversation away from you. 

Practice and prepare yourself

Prepare a little script ahead of your chat highlighting the value you bring to the business and how you love what you do, but feel that you’re now worth more. Prepare for as many possible scenarios your boss could use not to give you what you want. Speak to friends, family and trusted colleagues for their ideas. 

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash.

It’s important to set out your case with compelling evidence as to why this is the right moment for a pay rise, but don’t feel that you need to go in all-guns-blazing – it should be a conversation, after all. It’s easier if you keep a record of your big wins throughout the year as you go along! If you feel nervous, there are a few free LinkedIn Learning courses you could check out – Persuading Others and Foundations of Communication – to help boost your confidence.

Avoid ultimatums

While it might be tempting to tell your line manager you feel you’ve got no choice but to quit unless you get the pay raise you want, think carefully before doing this. Quitting should be considered a last-resort option, as no one likes being backed into a corner, which can lead to bad blood between you and your employer. It’s much better to pre-empt this by having an open, adult conversation about your expectations and what you feel you are worth, rather than leaving it until one of you feels pushed.

And if it doesn’t go like you want?

Expect resistance and be prepared to fight your corner, but don’t overdo it. If the cash you want is unavailable, be ready to ask for additional benefits such as a company car, an increased employer’s contribution to your pension scheme, or even an extra few days’ holiday. You could also use the opportunity to explore other avenues that you might benefit from, such as sabbaticals.

You should always be open to negotiation with these types of conversations. While money may be top of mind, there are many ways you can negotiate, and it’s wise to be thinking of tasks that may help you grow professionally or help you balance work with your personal life.

Ask yourself if there are other ways you might be able to improve upon your role. Could you arrange more flexible hours or a shorter work week? Are there on-the-job-training opportunities available to help you up-level your skills? Could you transfer to another department where you can explore a new role with different opportunities? Perhaps you could work for a different boss? You’ll never know unless you ask!

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

What to do after asking for a raise?

Congratulations on getting through the most nerve-wracking part!

If you did not manage to get the raise, do not be discouraged. Remember: your boss appreciates and recognises your efforts. Take the chance to get actionable feedback from your boss on what you can improve for them to consider you for a raise in the future.

If you did manage to get the raise, congratulations! We recommend you save the extra money you earn and invest wisely! Our suggestion, one of our top hacks, is to add half of it (and all subsequent raises and bonuses) to your current regular monthly investment contribution. You can still spend the well-deserved other half, and you will be startled at how effective it can be in a) boosting your long-term investment balances and b) limiting “lifestyle creep” to dramatically shorten the time till you can comfortably choose to step out of the rat race!

%d bloggers like this: