How to ask for a pay rise

asking for a payrise

Money. It’s well known that us Brits are NOT good at discussing this seemingly taboo topic, which is a big reason as to why we have a Money Talk feature in our magazine. The Debt Advisor found that people in the UK find it easier to discuss mental health and infertility problems than they do money.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults revealed what is and isn’t considered socially acceptable to talk about – with 25% of respondents believing that conversation about personal finances is a no go as it makes them feel “anxious” and “nervous”.

So, when it comes to asking for a pay rise, it is no wonder so many of us feel incredibly awkward and worried about broaching the subject with our bosses. Here are some things to think about when you are preparing to request a salary review.

1. First of all, it is important to remember that no one has ever been fired for asking for a pay rise. Your job is not at risk and the only negative outcome is that you won’t get what you are asking for. 

If you feel as though it is the right time to ask for a payrise, whether you’ve been at the company for a significant amount of time, felt your responsibility has been increased, or that you have upskilled for your role, there is no reason why you shouldn’t request a discussion about your salary.

2. There is no harm in researching salaries for roles that are the same as or similar to yours. This gives you an idea of whether your current salary fits similar roles and how to benchmark what you are going to request.

Glassdoor, Payscale, and Total Jobs now have the facility where you can compare salaries of your job role in your local area to see how your current salary sits on the scale. Payscale, in particular, offers a free report to show how your current salary differs in terms of the level of your position, bonuses, whether you’re female or male and more.

3. Always make sure you discuss your request in person. This is something that should be done face to face with your boss, and you should be prepared to explain why you have requested a pay rise, with evidence to show where you’ve added value. Often, a salary raise discussion may come down to a negotiation, which is much better done in person.

Don’t be afraid to say you’d like to go away and think about an offer that has been made. You don’t have to make your decision quickly, you can take your time to figure out if it is exactly what you want.

4. When you ask is important too. The beginning of the financial year is a popular time to ask, due to it being the time of year businesses layout their budgets for the year ahead. It might be that you choose to raise the subject after a year of being there or another milestone you’ve achieved. It is worth thinking about your timing.

If your company is enjoying some regular success, you’ll know it is a good time to approach your boss rather than when there are tight deadlines to meet and strenuous projects.

5. Lastly, you need to know what you want before you request the meeting. You’ll need to have a clear outline of what you want to discuss, what figure you want to propose and provide an understanding of why you are requesting a raise. This includes highlighting your successes and outlining how else you want to further your career in their company, providing more value and reassurance that you’re looking to stay and develop.

If your request is unsuccessful it’s not something to be ashamed of. You can request a time in the year that it will be suitable to come back and discuss your salary again or ask for feedback on what you can do to get to a level where a pay rise discussion can be brought to the table. 

If you’ve already attempted this route, perhaps looking for a new role is your best bet. But it’s important to make the decision based on whether you feel you’re able to grow in your career the way you wanted to, or whether you feel your progression is being limited. 

We’d love to hear from you if you’ve ever approached your boss for a pay rise. Email us on info@socialightmagazine.co.uk

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