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How to ask for a pay raise

Whilst we would all love to work purely for the passion of what we do, there is always a bottom line. Whatever your motives are for your chosen industry, job or position, there is always a need to consider how much you are being paid. Asking for a pay rise is scary for anyone. However, the New York Times recently said that women are statistically less likely to ask for a pay raise as opposed to men. We’ve put together a guide on how to ask that tricky question:

1. Gather relevant information

If you want to ensure that your request is met with positivity, you need to have leverage. Research within your company’s HR department how often employees are entitled to pay rises, if there are salary structures or if fixed ranks require certain levels of pay. Research whether you company require certain annual KPI reviews to make a decision regarding wages. This way, you can make your request feeling sufficiently entitled to ask.


2. Know what you’re worth

Consider your job description, how long you have been at the company, your level of leadership, delegation of extra responsibilities, experience and your level of education. Build a list of your accomplishments within your workplace. Talk about your long term objectives and goals within the company. Be sure to memorise your achievements so that you can confidently verbalise your evidence.

3. Know exactly how much you’re asking for

Once again, it pays to do your research. Understand exactly how much you’re entitled to ask for, and then decide on a ball-park figure. You need to be prepared to compromise and haggle (politely). Think of a price range and try to stick to that when negotiating. Employers will usually appreciate a percentage pay increase request, rather than a figure amount.

4. Choose a good time

You will need to consider whether the business is doing well. Is it tax time? Are they struggling with money? Is the economy stable? It is best to ask at a time when you know your company has a strong client-base or constant work. On the day that you wish to discuss your pay raise, choose the appropriate individual to talk to and make an appointment with them so that you have their undivided time and attention.

5. Keep them to the promise

Leave the meeting with a plan of action. Whilst your new pay raise is the most important thing on your mind right now, your boss may forget or be delayed in organising the paperwork where they are thinking of other things. Before the meeting is over, clarify who will organise the paperwork and when it can be expected to have been completed.

If you aren’t greeted with the response you want from this meeting, always ask your boss for honest feedback. Consider whether or not you could take on extra responsibilities around the workplace or how realistic a pay raise even may be for your company.

Remember, the key is to remain humble, polite and courteous whilst demonstrating the value of your hard work for the company. If you’ve been working hard, chances are, your boss has already noticed.

WORDS BY CYNDALL MCINERNEY. If you want industry-specific advice, ask one of our aspirational Mentors your salary related questions through the PropellHer Q&A.


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