How To Ask For A Pay Rise (Part 2) | Selection Partners | Executive Recruitment, Melbourne

How To Ask For A Pay Rise (Part 2)

If you know you deserve a pay rise and you want to do something about it, but aren’t quite sure how to approach it, to follow are some conversation starters that may assist you. Make sure you have done your research and are prepared before you walk into the meeting. See previous blog for how to prepare.


You might like to start the ball rolling with something like this: “Hi boss, can I book 15 mins of your time tomorrow? I have something I’d like to chat to you about.”

Once the meeting is booked, you are off and running. If they ask what’s it about, say “Nothing sinister, I’ll chat to you tomorrow”, smile and be busy doing something else.

When you are in the meeting, thank them for their time, tell your boss why you wanted to meet and what you want. The conversation could go something like this:

“Thanks for making the time for me today, I appreciate it as I know you are busy.

The reason I wanted to meet with you is to discuss my career here at [insert your organisation], since I started [insert time] years ago I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and I want to continue to develop.

I’ve [tell them all the things you have done & achieved] for example I’ve consistently met all the sales targets you set for me, bar one month when I was ill.   

I feel I am now more competent than I was even [6 or 12 months] ago. Do you agree? (Get them to say yes). Please don’t think I want to leave as I don’t. I do want though to be paid at a level that recognises my ability and the value I bring to [insert your organisation]. From my research and from the recruitment calls I get, I understand my salary needs to be [insert an amount], this represents [insert an amount] above what I am currently being paid.

I know [insert your organisation] wants to keep its employees engaged and fairly rewarded for their effort & results, so I wanted to bring this discrepancy to your attention so you can plug this gap, to bring my salary in line with the market rate.”

Then just sit and smile – say no more [if you can]. If the manager can’t make the decision there and then (& it’s unlikely they can), then say “Thanks for your time, what do you need to do now and how long do you think it will take before we can move on my salary?” Get an answer, smile and walk off and become busy.

If they say NO you can’t have a salary increase, then don’t get angry, upset or humiliated. Instead get curious and say, “Interesting, help me understand your thoughts around that” and listen to what they say.

There is always room to move. Maybe you could say, “What would have to happen in order for me to get the salary increase?” or “I understand this might be out of the norm and even difficult for you too and maybe you can’t make that decision yourself, so thank you for taking my case to senior management, I really appreciate it.”

If they flat out refuse, then counter them based on the work you have done in preparation, see previous blog for how to prepare. If you can’t get a salary increase, discuss what else you could get of value such as more training or a mentor – put on a development plan with a rise in X number of months.  No isn’t always no, it might be no now, or it might be not in the way you were looking for it OR it may mean yes, and bingo, drinks on you paid for via your salary rise!

It’s amazing what you get when you ask, so go on ask, it can’t hurt.

Good luck.

June Parker, career coach.

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