How to ask your boss for a pay rise

We'd all like a pay rise, but coming right out and asking for one can be a nerve-wracking experience for most people.

Thursday, 26th January 2017, 10:11 am
Updated Thursday, 26th January 2017, 10:17 am
Would you feel comfortable asking for a pay rise?

Before you pluck up the courage to knock politely on your boss’s door, there are a few things you might want to consider.

“Research is essential,” says Corinne Mills, career coach and managing director of Personal Care Management.

“There are all kinds of salary checkers available on the internet.

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“Look at advertised roles in your industry as well, but benchmark capability and knowledge as well as salary.”

Timing is important, too.

Sure, you can ask for a pay rise any time you want, but certain moments are more opportune than others –such as during a performance review, or when your company has exceeded its quarterly or annual profit forecast.

The unwritten rule is this: unless your responsibilities have changed dramatically, do not ask for a pay rise more than once a year – otherwise you’ll just look greedy.

And it goes without saying, perhaps, but never approach your boss when he’s busy – instead, try and pick a moment when he’s likely to be more relaxed (in the pub after work is a definite no-no, folks), like after lunch. Better still, ask to arrange a meeting.

Appearance matters, says Mills, but try to ensure you look like your normal self.

“There’s no point in dressing up on this occasion and looking shabby the rest of the time,” she says.

“The image you portray is an important part of doing your job and you should always look appropriate.”

Once you have your boss’s ear and have said your piece, Mills’ advice is to sit back and let them respond.

“Silence is fantastic,” she says. “As is asking for their advice.

Never say that you are underpaid and avoid confrontation.

“Instead, say: ‘I’ve been thinking about my responsibilities and how they might be reflected in my pay. What do you think?’

“That open question,” adds Mills, “gives them a chance to answer.”

If the answer is ‘no’, then don’t lose the rag. Simply ask for feedback and see if there’s anything you should be doing differently, or ways you can improve your performance at work in the future.