How To Get A Pay Rise In The New Year


Anna Held – “The more they applaud, the bigger your salary will be”

What are your 2016 goals? Lose weight? Spend more time with the family? Ask your manager for a pay rise? Or perhaps you haven’t bothered with goal setting this year (for shame!).

Out of all the goals we set ourselves at the start of the year, asking your manager for a pay rise has to be up there as one of the most difficult. Many of us are fortunate enough to have employers who have implemented clear pay incentives and regular performance reviews that provide opportunities to increase our salary, but others may not. In this case, a gutsy conversation with your manager is needed.

In this blog I will lay out a few do’s and don’ts to help you achieve that well deserved pay increase.


When it first dawns on you that you feel you deserve a pay rise, your instinctive response can often be highly emotional. Don’t let your emotions control your thoughts here, as it may lead to inappropriate actions e.g. telling your boss to go F him/herself (or something like that). Instead, stay calm and devise a plan.

The core motive behind a pay rise is that you are worth more now than when you started your job. So prove it. Bring together multiple examples of where you performed your job well (perhaps look at your job description again), excelled above your duties, helped other departments, made decisions that led to wider company success, took time out of work hours to mentor colleagues.

Aim to use metrics and quantifiable examples. The more tangible your plan, the better.



Asking your manager for a pay rise at any random point in the day, month or year is not a good idea. Firstly you should ask HR, a colleague or manager if there is an appropriate time to ask for a raise. Usually performance reviews are tied to salary discussions. Find out when your next one is and plan for then.

But if a performance review is a long way off, or not practiced in your company, then you need to time a meeting carefully. If your company is not performing well financially then wait for revenue to be on the rise. And you want to ensure that you have your manager’s full attention. Don’t book a meeting Monday morning, Friday afternoon or in the middle of back-to-back meetings. You want a relaxed, but serious, meeting.

The right place also plays a role. If you work in an open plan office perhaps head out to a nearby coffee shop to chat. Or if your relationship with your manager is more formal ensure you book a meeting room with ample time for discussion. You don’t want either of you to be disturbed or distracted.


As mentioned before, avoid emotion in this conversation. For example, “I haven’t had a raise since…”, “I’m doing the work of 3 people”, “I’m in debt and need more money”. No, no, no. This is about you making clear that you’re now a more valuable employee.

Stay positive and reaffirm your passion for the role and company. Explain that wanting a pay rise doesn’t mean you’re going to be looking elsewhere. Ultimatums are always a risky move.

Once you’ve made your case, just listen. Silence is incredibly powerful when negotiating. Hear what your manager has to say and ensure you have prepared counterpoints to any expected replies.


Whether you achieve the pay rise or not, once you’ve finished the discussion, follow up all decisions and action items with an email. For example, “if you hit x targets you will achieve your raise”; “you will receive £x in your February pay packet” etc. This ensures you have it in writing for a later review.

If you’re aiming for a pay rise in 2016, good luck!

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