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How to get a pay rise

Want 2018 to be the year you get a pay rise? We’ve got some tips to help you make your goal a reality.

Schedule a meeting

Get the ball rolling and schedule in some time with your line manager to discuss your wishes. Pen in a time that suits both of you and stick to it. If they have to cancel for any reason, make sure to organise a new meeting date straight away.

Prepare a strong case

It’s important to get the reasons you want an increase in pay over to your boss concisely. Put pen to paper and write down everything you do in the business and anything you do that goes above and beyond your role. And be honest with yourself!

If you’re stuck, think of the answers to these questions: What areas of your role have you excelled in? How are you going above and beyond? What new skills have you learnt and how are you using them?

The numbers

It’s important to have a concrete figure in mind before entering the meeting. Have your ideal number ready as well as a number you’d be satisfied with if it came to negotiation. If you’re unsure of how to evaluate your earning potential, compare salaries for similar roles on job advertisements or use a salary calculator online.


To master the art of negotiation, it’s important to be aware of the language you’re going to use. Think of it as a clear business discussion rather than a conversation about your personal circumstances.

Avoid subjective language. It’s not about what you want because you have more bills to pay next month; it’s about what you deserve. Try and avoid using phrases like 'I want', 'I need' or ‘in my opinion’.

Try to use positive language. Phrases such as 'I've achieved', I’ve excelled’ or 'I deserve' are good starters.

Final word

If a raise in pay isn’t realistic this time, don’t get disheartened. There will be other chances to negotiate. Maybe your boss has a different time in mind for you to get a pay rise, or needs you to take on more responsibility.

If you haven’t been able negotiate the pay rise you wanted, suggest discussing the matter in another 3-6 months and ask for clear objectives to achieve by that time.

Don’t burn your bridges

Threatening to leave if you don’t get a rise is a bad move if you enjoy your job and you’re looking to progress. It gives the impression you’ve mentally got one foot out of the door already. If you do decide to leave, you shouldn’t go out in a blaze of glory, it’s important to be gracious and on good terms with your boss.


If you’re looking for a new opportunity, head to our jobs page.