How To Ask For a Pay Rise and What To Do If You Don't Get It

Posted February 21 2024 By Mary Munoz

How to ask for a pay rise

A pay rise is still quite a taboo subject, even though it is something most people go through professionally. Yet negotiating a pay rise can be nerve-wracking. Deciding when to ask your manager, how much to ask for, what to say, and what to do if you don’t get the answer you hoped for.

So, we wanted to lay out some helpful hints and tips on asking your manager for a salary increase.

Do your research

The first step is market research. Look at the role you’re doing now and what the market is telling you. Look at similar roles’ salaries and also consider location because that could sometimes make a big difference, so look at the market average, look at what’s on offer, and compare that to your package. Doing your research will help you get a realistic figure in mind.

Gather evidence to build your space

You need to sit back and figure out how much you’re worth. Review your qualifications and education and reflect on your performance over the year. Think about all the extra bits and pieces of work you’ve done. An easy way to do this is to keep a spreadsheet/notepad filled with all the extra pieces of work that you have completed throughout the year, e.g. attending networking events, projects, training or any materials produced.

Ask in the right way

It’s best to ask face-to-face as this will allow you to gauge a reaction. It’ll also give you some time to have a further open discussion about it and negotiate your reasons for asking for it.

Ask at the right time

The best time to ask would be at any annual/performance review. It’ll allow you to step back and analyse the year you’ve had, and it will also allow you to have a fuller discussion of what the market is telling you from the research you’ve done. When discussing with your manager, ensure you’ve added the input brought to the company and justify what you’re asking for.

After you’ve asked

For most people, asking for a pay rise is one of the most nerve-wracking things you can do professionally. Once you’ve asked, take a deep breath, stay calm, and continue your work as usual. You should check in with your manager after a couple of days/weeks to find out if there are any movements or if further discussion is needed.

The important thing to remember is don’t be disheartened. You know it might not always go to plan, or you might not get it the first time, but you never know. There are a lot of moving parts in the background that need to be considered.

But what to do if you don’t get it

It can be frustrating and disheartening if the answer is no. Perhaps you’re worried about how it could affect your relationship with your manager. However, several factors can explain why the answer is no.

Your manager might agree that you are a top performer, but there is no room in the budget. Be persistent and set a date to review the situation. A compromise in the meantime you could consider if there are any other perks you want, e.g. flexible working hours, extra holiday allowance, time out of work to attend networking events or training. There may be an opportunity for you to do some external training to develop your skills further and increase your values within the company.

If your manager doesn’t think your performance warrants a pay rise, it’s a good idea to ask them to agree on some clear objectives. You can then work towards these and ask for a performance review at an agreed date.

The important thing to remember is to continue the hard work that you’ve already put in. There is no point asking for a pay increase, and if it doesn’t go your way, you throw in the towel. You need to continue to show why you deserve the increase and continue showing that through your work.

However, after a couple of review periods, the company still won’t give you a pay increase, it could be time to change jobs. That’s where HRC comes into play. If you’re looking for a new role, click here to check out our website.

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