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How to Ask for a Pay Increase


This is a common question that we come up against as recruiters and unfortunately for employees and employers, most people don't go for the obvious solution with this one: talk to your boss and find out if there's anything they can do.

Most people feel pretty disgruntled once a year has passed by with no talk of pay increases, but so many of them are likely to talk to friends about how dissatisfied it makes them, without ever giving any hint to their managers. The first an employer will often know is when someone is tendering notice and mentions it then.

It can be surprisingly easy to set up a conversation about having a payrise if you follow a few golden rules.


Firstly, make sure you have some facts and figures at your finger tips - what are market rates for someone at your level, how has the company performed on the whole over the last year, have your managers given you any feedback on your own performance and whether they're happy with it?


Secondly, ask your manager about the company appraisal system and let them know you'd like to set up a review as part of your own development. That sets the tone pretty well for a conversation which will cover everything from the extra responsibilities you've been taking on, to whether that is going to be reflected in your pay, and even what you and they are expecting from you over the coming year as well. Everyone deserves a feel-good session with their manager once a year anyway - so if you've not had a review at all this is about more than just pay.


A common mistake to make is shop around for a new job and then tender notice simply to secure a counter offer and more money. Tendering notice tells your boss that you are no longer as loyal to the company as you once were, that you have reviewed the market but could still be tempted to stay for more money, that you'll put your employer in an awkward position by insisting that they raise your pay beyond what others may be on, or you'll walk. In short, it's a badly handled way to force your employer's hand - so only tender notice if you're sure you want to leave, and don't be one of the statistics that accepts a counter offer and stays (80 per cent of people that stay simply for more money are hunting for a new role again 6 months later).


So call a review with your manager and see how it goes. I hope you're pleasantly surprised - often your manager may not have realised how much more you've been doing and will be happy to talk about rewarding you for it.


Of course, they could stick their feet in and tell you that there won't be any more money in the pot for you this year. If that's the case, ask them when the next appraisal and pay review will be. At least that way you can be sure when that one comes around they will remember your previous request for a payrise and will have thought in advance about whether they can increase your salary or not. They certainly won't simply overlook it again - and they certainly will thank you for being the professional that brought it to them in a thoughtful and mature manner.

Good luck as you move forward and don’t forget you can always call a contact at 33 who can help guide you through this and other career advice as you make your way forward.