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Asking for a pay rise can be challenging; in some cultures or social environments, talking about money is considered taboo or inappropriate, adding another layer of difficulty. The reality of having a conversation with your employer about salary requires exposing your financial desires and needs, which can make you feel vulnerable. And depending on the outcome, there is a risk of denting your ego and pride if the request is denied, which can be a significant emotional hurdle.

Recognising all of these feelings – fear of rejection, fear of conflict, self-doubt – makes it easier to adopt strategies to overcome these challenges. Asking for a raise is a normal part of professional life and can be approached as a business discussion rather than a personal plea.

By preparing thoroughly and approaching the conversation with confidence and professionalism, you can make a compelling case for a pay rise.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you confidently ask for a pay rise.


Asking for a pay rise can be a delicate process, but with careful preparation and the right approach, you can increase your chances of a positive outcome. Thoroughly researching and preparing your case can boost your confidence and make your request more compelling.

Research Salary Ranges: Understand the typical salary range for your position in your industry and region. Websites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and LinkedIn Salary can provide valuable insights.

Evaluate Your Performance: Reflect on your achievements and contributions to the company. Quantify your accomplishments with specific metrics or examples that highlight your value.


Similar to what you would do for any important presentation or conversation, practicing what you intend to say helps build your confidence and improve your delivery – repetition reinforces memory, helping you remember key points and details without needing to rely heavily on notes.

Rehearsing the conversation with a trusted friend or mentor can help you feel more comfortable and articulate.


Choosing the right time to ask, such as after a successful project or during performance reviews, can improve your chances. Asking for a pay rise when the company is performing well financially may seem like an obvious opportunity for a salary conversation. Conversely, companies that are not performing well, may have limited budgets or financial restrictions that make it difficult to grant raises, even when justified.

Remember to prepare all relevant documentation to support your case, in advance. Gather evidence of your accomplishments, such as performance reviews, emails from colleagues or clients praising your work, and any other relevant documentation.

The Conversation

Schedule a Meeting: Request a formal meeting with your manager to discuss your performance and compensation. This shows that you take the matter seriously.

Be Confident and Professional: Approach the conversation with confidence but remain professional and respectful. Practice your pitch to ensure you communicate clearly and effectively.

Present Your Case: Begin by highlighting your achievements and contributions. Explain how your work has benefited the company and why you believe a pay rise is justified. Use the documentation you prepared to support your case.

Be Specific: Clearly state the amount or percentage increase you are seeking, based on your research and the value you bring to the company.

Show Willingness to Negotiate: Be open to discussion and negotiation. If your manager cannot meet your request immediately, ask about other forms of compensation or a timeline for when a raise might be possible.

Express Gratitude: Regardless of the outcome, thank your manager for considering your request. This leaves a positive impression and shows professionalism.

Seek Feedback: If your request is denied, ask for constructive feedback on what you can do to qualify for a raise in the future. This demonstrates your commitment to growth and improvement.

Final Thoughts

Be prepared for any outcome and have a plan for next steps, whether it’s negotiating further, seeking feedback, or considering other opportunities. Based on the feedback you receive, set goals and create a plan to achieve them. Regularly check in with your manager to track your progress and revisit the conversation at an appropriate time.

Remember that remuneration refers to both the financial (base salary or wages, incentives, commissions, overtime, bonuses, stock options, signing bonus etc) and non-financial (flexible working, paid leave, life/health insurance, in-office catering and other “perks”) rewards, that together form your overall compensation for performing a role. If an increase in salary is not possible, consider what other non-financial benefits could change for the better.

For tips on how to confidently discuss your salary expectations, read our blog Advice for answering, what are your salary expectations?