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6 Do’s and Dont's when Asking for a Pay Rise

6 Do’s and Dont's when Asking for a Pay Rise

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No one likes asking for money.

As a result, the process of asking for a pay rise can be a nerve-racking and awkward one.  The employee is all too aware of the damage it can do to their career and relationship with their manager if approached in the wrong way and as such, they fumble over their words and fail to make a convincing case for a raise.

At Fuse Recruitment, we want you to be paid what you deserve.  If you’re thinking of asking for a raise, follow our do's and dont's, and your manager won’t be able to refuse!


Do time it right

When it comes to asking for a pay rise, timing is everything.  Use your intuition and knowledge of the company’s financial position to judge whether or not the time is right to be asking for more money.  If you misjudge the circumstances and ask for a raise when the company is financially struggling, you run the risk of looking self-absorbed and out of touch with the business.

There’s a lot on the line here, so if you’re not sure of the timing it’s probably better to take a step back, do some research and revisit your request when you know the company has good profit margins and increasing sales.


Do focus on the value you add to the company

Raises are about what you’ve contributed to the company and how you’ll be an asset moving forward.  Highlight your accomplishments and hard work and how your skill level has improved since you got the position.  Don’t complain about the extra work you’re doing and the extra responsibilities you’ve taken on for no extra pay.

Also avoid mentioning any personal circumstances you are in that mean you need the extra money.  Managers increase salaries because employees have performed well and excelled in their role, not because they’re having a baby or buying a new house.


Don’t be too pushy

Many advocate the bold approach when requesting a pay rise, but we’d warn against that.  No one likes ultimatums, and your manager is unlikely to respond to a threat.   

If you go in to your managers office demanding a raise or you’ll leave, and they decline your request, you end up in a very awkward position.  Stay and face the humiliation and loss of respect or leave and possibly face a worse financial position than where you started. 


Do your research

Before you speak to your manager, make sure you’re prepared.  Talk to other people in your field, speak to recruiters, and scour job postings with the same job title and location.  Use the information you’ve collated to determine what your job is worth and what other employers are offering for the same position.  Take into account the financial state of the company, and how much money you’ve saved or earned for the business while you’re been there.  Know the general merit increase in your company (most often somewhere between 1-5%) - and make sure you don’t over ask.


Don’t compare yourself to colleagues

What your colleagues earn is none of your business.  If you meet with your manager and mention that one of your colleagues is earning more than you, your manager will likely think you have been snooping around the company for information. 

Your higher earning colleague may have more qualifications in your field, perform better in their role, or simply have negotiated a better salary at their interview.  Furthermore, your colleague may not be impressed when they find out you’ve used their name to negotiate your raise.


Don’t expect an answer straight away

If your boss doesn’t respond the way you want them too, don’t be too disheartened.  The company may be under financial restrictions you don’t know about or it may simply not be the right time to give any members of staff a raise.

If you go about it the right way, your manager will respect you and take your opinion on board.  You’ve put the idea in their head, and they may come back to it of their own accord a little way down the track.  If not, there’s no harm in asking again in future.


If you do go to your boss for a raise, make sure you present your case well and leave them wondering why they hadn’t offered you an increase sooner!


Not getting paid what you think you're worth? Ready to step up your career with a new challenge? Browse our job board to find your next position!