• Bill Savellis

Asking For A Pay Rise – 8 Simple Do’s And Don’ts

Updated: Mar 29

By Bill Savellis


For a lot of people, asking for a pay rise is always difficult. Frankly, most just don’t feel confident asking for a rise.


Unfortunately, few of us have the rapport with our manager required to make such a conversation easy.


As we are at the start of 2019, now is perhaps a good time to take stock of what you are worth in the market and raise the subject with your manager. To ensure your chances are bright, just follow these simple steps.


Step 1. Timing is everything

  • Ask for a pay rise at a time that’s eventful - on or before an anniversary of employment service or at the end of the financial year, or before the sign-off of the budget for next year.

  • Ask when you have delivered a win or achieved something visible or have demonstrated greater efficiency.

  • Ask when the organisation’s goals / targets have been achieved or over achieved.

Step 2. Have a sound justification to promote your case

  • Show what you have achieved in your role and with proof.

  • If you are handling more than your usual responsibilities.

  • Show proof of revenue generated and performance.

Step 3. Going about your request.

  • Be polite, but firm and confident. Sound professional and do not let your emotions drive your behavior.

  • Be clear and deliver a message that communicates your expectations clearly and do not show desperation.

Step 4. Convincing your employer you cannot be ignored for the rise

  • Collect all facts and demonstrate them with measurable information as proof of your deliveries. Provide positive comments from clients, colleagues, top leadership, reports and other achievements.

  • Show proof what your peers in the market place are worth in terms of position and remuneration. Do conduct and present yourself in a professional manner and let the influencers / decision makers know of your value and contribution.

Step 5. Scheduling it

  • Once you are ready, schedule your manager’s time for a discussion. If possible, ensure that there is no high-pressure situations at an organizational level at that time.

Step 6. Beginning the conversation

  • Start the conversation confidently. Do not beat around the bush but come to the point in minimum time when they are still attentive. Use positive language like how you are committed to the organization and are excited about the team’s future plans. Show that you are satisfied and enjoy your job and respect the team and leadership.

Step 7. Common mistakes you don’t want to make

  • Requests that are not backed up with supporting documents/ research or facts.

  • Unreasonable requests and comparing yourself with a colleague or peer and his package.

  • Sounding desperate or becoming aggressive.

  • Issuing ultimatums such as, ‘A raise or I quit or I have offers elsewhere…’

Step 8. Performance reviews and pay rise

  • Though linked, these are two separate discussions. A performance review is when your manager is assessing your performance, opportunities within the organization and career goals. A pay rise is linked to a performance review considering it becomes a basis for the management to consider you for a pay rise (if at all), and how much.

Should you quit your job if you don’t get a rise?

  • This is specific to the individual. If you feel you have been ignored for a pay rise for a couple of years or feel your contribution to the organization has not been recognized and rewarded, it is time to consider your options.

  • If you feel your career is not going anywhere or that the organization does not meet your career aspirations, then it is time to consider your options.

  • But please be very clear with your next career move - offer, pay package and opportunities ahead. Just ensure your reputation is intact and more importantly, ensure you ‘don’t burn your bridges’ – after all, it’s a small world!



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