Is it time to ask for a pay rise?

February 27, 2020


If you heard an emphatic “yes!” in your head when asking that question, then it might be something you need to consider sooner rather than later. It’d be great if a regular pay rise landed in our bank accounts without having to go through the often uncomfortable process of asking for one, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen often (if ever)! It’s essential to start honing our skills in this area and learning how to have these conversations, when it feels like a fair and reasonable time to do so throughout our career.

Here is a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” to consider when asking for a pay rise:



1. Do research on what others in your industry are being paid as a comparison. You can do this by searching your role on job sites or via

2. Do ask for a pay rise after a big project has been completed, you’ve taken on new responsibilities or solved a major problem for the company. Other times could be at the end of the financial year, after a new budget is put in place or when you’re coming up to a work anniversary.

3. Do make a clear list of achievements and new things that you have done in your role recently, compared to your previous job description. If you can put a financial benefit gained by the company on these achievements it will also add strength to your argument.

4. Do be specific in what you’re asking for – there’s no shame in giving a clear figure on your salary expectations. Also, keep in mind that studies have shown that a specific figure, rather than a rounded-up one, has proven to be a more successful strategy. For example, $98,500 rather than $95,000.

5. Do focus on selling, not begging – if you have six children and a lot of debt you need to pay off, that’s not the company’s problem. People are given a pay rise because they’ve added value to the company so don’t plead for a pay rise because you need it, explain why you deserve it.

6. Do act confident! If you don’t believe that you deserve the pay rise, why should your boss?



1. Don’t start a conversation about a pay rise at the end of another meeting as this is most likely going to be wrapped up before you get a chance to have a proper discussion. Set aside a time to discuss it properly when the boss isn’t more focused on getting to another meeting or heading out for lunch.

2. Don’t ask at a time when the company has just announced a slump in sales or recently retrenched staff to cut costs. It’s all about good timing!

3. Don’t leave a request for a pay rise for too long after believing that you deserve one. This can lead to a feeling of resentment and affect how you go about asking for the pay rise when you finally get around to it (think upset and entitled!), which could be detrimental to your chances of getting it.

4. Don’t stop if you get a ‘no’ – consider other things that would increase your job satisfaction to negotiate as an alternative to more money, like working from home one day a week, starting early so you can leave early or other perks.

5. Don’t think that a ‘no’ means never – if you get a no now, ask when would be a better time to look at it again or ask what else you can do to increase your chances of an increase in the future? What value does the boss need you to add to justify the pay rise? This gives you parameters to work with and means if you achieve these things that there’s less chance it’ll be knocked back next time.

6. Don’t be afraid to look elsewhere if you truly believe that you have outgrown the role. The days of staying in a job for 50 years until you retire are over. It’s commendable to be loyal, as long as it doesn’t end up being detrimental to your career. There may be a better opportunity for you somewhere else that you haven’t considered yet, so be sure to consider all your options.

Asking for a pay rise is all about being prepared, confident and choosing the right time to ask. There are many benefits to learning how to do it too. The main one, in my opinion, is that by building confidence in this area now, it will increase your chances of growing your income in the years ahead, and this could equate to thousands of extra dollars in your pocket!