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Want a pay rise? Here’s how to build your case

Asking for a wage increase can be nerve-wracking. It can be disheartening if the answer is no, and you may worry about its impact on your relationship with your manager. However, the more research and planning you do, the more likely the outcome will be favorable.


When crafting your argument for a raise, it is important to assess the following:

  • If you are executing above and beyond the duties listed in your contract

  • If you are bringing more value than colleagues earning the same or more than you

  • If you have made improvements since the last performance review

  • If you have contributed measurable value to the business

If you have answered yes to most or all of these questions, then you have a strong argument and should now focus on presenting it in a concise and convincing way, demonstrating your value with tangible evidence. Detail all the achievements you have made and how they have added value to the business. Include hard facts and figures, and be prepared to answer questions such as the following:

  • How much of an increase do you require?

  • If you will leave if your expectations are not met?

  • Considering the economy, is it an appropriate time to be asking?

  • Are you truly deserving of a raise?

Being fully prepared for tough questions will help you retain control of the meeting whilst making your clear and cohesive case. Make sure the amount you ask for is realistic and well researched.


It might be worth noting these things to avoid saying, as well:

  • 'I deserve a raise becasue I have been here x amount of time' This does not automatically mean you deserve a raise. Come in with tangiable examples of why you deserve one.

  • 'I feel' or 'I think' Don't base your request on feelings, base it on facts, using concerete examples.

  • 'X is making more than me' Don't call out specific employees, say that you have been researching salaries of this position, and the average salary for your expereince is x.

  • 'I'm overdue for a raise' It's really not upto you, it's merely your opinion. Instead, ask if you can have a performance review so you can understand better any areas you need to improve upon. If it goes great then you have you have an example of why you are deserving.

  • I will leave if I don't get x amount' Issuing ultimations rarely works out well in the long term - and you might even not make it to the long term if it dosn't go to plan!

  • 'I need more money becasue I'm in debt' This overshare will just make it seem you have bad money management skills, and your challenges, although unfortunate, are not a reason for a raise.

The Bottom line? You need to prove your impact on the business, bring concrete examples of your success, facts, figures and cost savings, not opinions and flimpsy arguments.


End the meeting on a positive note and agree on a date and time to meet again. Be prepared for any outcome, and if your proposal is not successful, decide if you plan to stay.




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