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Top tips for asking for a raise

We're all Business

Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

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If you are keen to stay in your current job but feel like you are not earning enough, then it could be time to ask for a raise. It’s not always obvious when the best moment to do this is or even how to approach it. If you educate yourself before you ask, then it could end in a better result than if you just wing it – not that this is guaranteed, but it’s always best to be prepared.


  • Know your value

Do your research by looking at salary and cost of living comparisons within your organisation. Don’t give specifics about what other colleagues are earning, but rather present what the field generally pays and why you believe your experience and performance deserves a pay rise.

  • Know the amount

How much more do you want to earn? Don’t negotiate a salary increase without knowing the amount you want. Keep it fair and reasonable, and don’t be scared to give the exact amount that is backed up by your research.

  • Book the meeting

Give your boss a heads-up – mention that you want to discuss career growth, and make sure you book in the time.

  • Begin on a positive note

Start the meeting by telling your boss that you are enjoying your work and are pleased your role has expanded. Then, mention that you were hoping your salary could be adjusted to meet your new responsibilities. Once you have finished, pause. Don’t fill any silence with conversation, but let your request sink in.

  • No threats and sob stories

While we all have things happening in our lives that require money, it’s not wise to use these as reasons for a pay rise. Avoid reasons like not being able to pay your rent or struggling to pay school fees, for example. Rather focus on your worth and your accomplishments. Also, don’t say you are looking for work elsewhere if you aren’t actively doing so. This may backfire, and you may find yourself needing to do just that.

  • Negotiate

If you are turned down, don’t lose hope. Respond by asking what you can do to earn the increase – do you need to do an extra course, enhance your performance somehow or take on a different role? Be open to negotiate.

  • Be ready with alternatives

If the answer is no due to a “salary freeze”, then take the opportunity to suggest alternatives. Could you work from home one day a week, or attend a conference or industry event? Your employer may be more inclined to say yes after having said no to the increase.

  • If you get your raise

If your request is granted, then well done! It’s a good idea to put together a budget before your first new salary lands in your bank account. This will ensure that your new income will be put to good and responsible use.


The information contained in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


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