Insights / Candidate - 8 minutes

Asking for a Pay Rise (With Examples)

Asking for a pay rise can be daunting. Although most employers will expect you to ask about it, it still feels like a sensitive topic. In this article, we'll share our best tips for negotiating a pay rise, ensuring you get the answer you want.

Asking for a Pay Rise (With Examples)


Tech Talent Engine


So, you’ve been working above your objectives for a long time now. Perhaps you’ve gone above and beyond to get the job done and often supported others within the company to hit important deadlines.

Whether it’s staying behind to finish a project or being a mentor to others, your contributions have made a noticeable impact on the company’s success and you can’t help but feel it’s time for a pay rise.

If this is you, you might be wondering when this hard work is going to be recognised.

Firstly, let’s get one thing straight. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask your employer about progression - many companies provide pay increases annually.

In this guide, we’ll explore some strategies to help you navigate the process of negotiating a pay rise.

1. Understanding the logistics

Before you approach the question, take a moment to investigate the structure of the organisation. For example, who is the head of each department and who is responsible for any final decisions?

It could be that your line manager is not responsible for pay rises, so consider finding out who is.

Length of employment is important to consider here, as it may not be company policy to provide a pay rise until after 12 months of employment.

Once you understand how the company works and how pay is reviewed, whether annually or quarterly, it should help to build a picture regarding the likelihood of you gaining the salary you desire.

2. Practice your script

It’s the day before the meeting with your boss and you’re practicing the different scenarios in your head.

Do you tell them how hard you’ve worked this year and what you’ve been up to or keep it straight to the point regarding how you’re feeling?

As matter of a fact, there is no strict rule book regarding what to say. However, it is important that you practice your script before going into the meeting to avoid flustering or wandering from the point.

This could include revising how you’re going to structure your questions, i.e., mentioning firstly how happy you are at the company and then moving into the reasons why you value your role. It’s a good idea to consider any potential questions they might ask too, so you can prepare an answer for any potential conflict.

Nothing impresses an employer more than confidence – ask closed questions that prompt a clear answer and assert your confidence.

3. Statistics

It’s unlikely that your manager or boss sees the work you complete every day, so it’s important to bring statistics and facts to the table.

For example, you might have recently taken on an increase in your workload and offered to mentor several co-workers. Bring a few examples of key moments that you are proud of and how you achieved this.

The STAR technique is a useful tool to use, as it allows you to bring relevance to your answer, ensuring you stay on topic.

Where possible, use statistics to help with your answer. Ultimately, this will prove to your employer how valuable you are to the company. This can look something like this:

Since incorporating a marketing strategy for this project, I have increased website traffic by 5% and revenue by 25%.

We have also seen our brand social media following increase by 50% across all channels.

4. Avoid making it personal

Perhaps you’ve been struggling for money the past few weeks and you’re saving to buy a house.

Although this may be the main reason behind asking for a pay rise, it isn’t justifiable from an employer’s perspective. Stay on topic and think of the key work-related reasons why you deserve a pay rise.

At every point, consider the counterargument against these claims and give your employer enough reason to say yes.

For example, don’t say this:

I’ve been really struggling for money lately and I’m keen to get on the property ladder soon. I’ve had to stop buying certain things because my money doesn’t seem to stretch anymore.

Instead, say this:

Since joining in 2021, I have made a significant impact on my team’s success. As a result, I feel my current salary no longer reflects the level of work I am producing each week. The skills and experience I have gained during my time with the company reflect a £5,000 raise.

5. Prepare for an offer

In some instances, your employer might not be able to match what you’re asking for.

For example, you could be asking for a £10,000 increase in pay but they are only able to give you £5,000.

Consider researching the salary of similar roles online in your area for context, explaining how you are being underpaid in comparison. It’s important to be realistic with what you want, so you can continue to carry this confidence into the conversation.

If you portray that you are unsure of what you want, it will make it difficult for an employer to justify giving you a pay rise.

6. Know your worth

Finally, if you don’t feel appreciated in your workplace, know when to walk away.
According to statistics, the average raise an employee receives for leaving is between 10% to 20% increase, so you’re never far away from your dream salary.

If you’re unhappy in your current role and there are no opportunities for pay progression, then it’s up to you to decide whether you would like to continue working for the company.

Let’s recap what we’ve learned

After reading this article, we hope you feel confident walking into your manager's office to ask about a pay rise. To recap, let’s explain the basics:

  • Research: Investigate how often pay is reviewed at your organisation and who is responsible for giving pay rises.
  • Practice: Write down a brief overview of your script so you have time to prepare for any conflicting questions.
  • Statistics: Back up your statements with statistics to prove how much of an impact you have had on the company’s success – consider using the STAR method here.
  • Professionalism: Avoid making it personal and keep it professional.
  • Counteroffer: Prepare for a counteroffer. Would you be happy if they offered you below what you’re asking for?
  • Know your worth: Ask yourself, is it worth staying?

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