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How to ask for a pay rise


Talking about salaries is often seen as taboo and it’s never easy to approach your boss and ask for more money. But everyone deserves to receive fair pay that’s in line with their abilities and workload.

If you feel like your salary isn’t reflecting the work you do, it might be time to speak to your manager. As this can be nerve-wracking, CV-Library has put together some top tips for asking for a pay rise. 

1. Know your worth

It’s not as simple as pulling a figure out of thin air, you need to make sure that your request is reasonable. The best way to do this is by doing some salary research before you even consider approaching your manager. Start your research by looking at a range of IT roles to get a better idea of the market, or look at salary guides online.

Once you’ve got a clearer understanding of the average salary for your role, you can put together a sensible figure to present to your manager. 

2. Build your case

As well as having a salary in mind, you also need to build your case and provide evidence as to why you deserve a pay rise. Think about any projects you’ve worked on recently that have been successful and take note. Have you learnt any new skills or are you an expert in a particular programme that others aren’t.

Put together a handful of examples of why you deserve more money, after all, you need to show your manager why you’re worth the investment. Having examples at hand will help you to quickly demonstrate why you should get a raise. This will also make you to feel more prepared and confident about approaching them.

3. Arrange a meeting

Once you’re ready, it’s time to arrange a meeting with your manager to discuss the possibility of a pay rise. Send them an email or meeting request and be sure to set aside enough time so that you don’t have to rush. The timing of this meeting is crucial. It’s probably not a good idea to ask for a pay rise after a bad financial year or the loss of a client.

Carefully consider when would be the right time so you can catch your manager in a good mood. This will stand you in better stead for successfully negotiating a bigger salary.

4. Remain calm

You need to remain calm and collected throughout the meeting – even if you’re feeling nervous! Most importantly, you need to stay professional at all times. If your manager asks questions (which they probably will as you’re asking them to part with more money) refer to your prepared examples and answer the questions as best you can.

The key is to not let your emotions get in the way. If it’s not looking good or your boss is becoming defensive, you must still remain calm and clearly state your case.

5. If the money isn’t there

Unfortunately, sometimes the money just isn’t there! Even if your manager would love to give you a raise. In this situation you could negotiate other terms of your contract instead. Perhaps ask for more annual leave or other workplace benefits. If this isn’t possible or you feel really undervalued, it might even be time to look for a new opportunity with a higher salary.

In summary

Talking about money can feel uncomfortable, but everyone deserves fair pay and sometimes it can’t be avoided. Asking for a pay rise requires good preparation. Make sure you arm yourself with examples before you approach your manager and be realistic in what you’re asking for.

Read our related blog: Why recruitment agencies are better than you think

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