Broaching the subject of a pay rise can feel really awkward. Most people don’t like talking about money, particularly us Brits!  

But if you would like to be paid what you believe you are worth, it’s something that’s you’ll need to get comfortable with; or at least be completely prepared for. 

So, if you’d like to ask your boss for a pay rise, read on for our 5 must-dos to give yourself the best chance of getting the salary you want. 


1. Do Your Research

You’ll want to do your homework before you request a pay rise. Calculate your worth based on the current job market – look at equivalent job ads and LinkedIn Salary to get an idea of the market rate, and compare with your current job role and responsibilities.  

You may also want to take into account any relevant qualification and/or specialist skills you have that make you an asset to the company, as well as your level of experience. Are you working at a higher level with more responsibilities than perhaps you were when you started the role? 

Think about what you have achieved in the role, and how your achievements have benefited the company (see point 4 for more about this).  

At this point, you’ll also want to research and consider what is an appropriate pay rise to ask for. 3% is the average increase for 2022 according to the CIPD, but with soaring inflation, you may feel that you deserve more. 

2. Timing Is Key

There are definitely good and bad times to ask for a salary increase. Consider the following before you make your request… 

When company budgets are set – do you know or can you find out when the budgets for the year are planned? Leaving a request until your yearly review is often too late, so knowing when the most amount of money is in the pot will certainly help. 

However, you may find that an opportune time to ask is when someone in your team has just left. Your bosses may be nervous about losing someone else, and could be more open to a pay rise to keep you from leaving. 

When your boss isn’t stressed and busy – if the end of the month is always full on, or they’re working to a tight deadline, consider holding off until things have calmed down. They’ll be much more open to requests when they’re under less pressure. 


3. Book A Face-To-Face Meeting

Although it may feel easier to hide behind an email request, your boss will respect you more for asking for a salary increase in person. If you can’t book a face-to-face meeting, then suggest a video call. Remember, it’s also much easier for them to say no via email too!   

You may consider warning them in advance of the meeting what you want to talk about, so they can prepare too. 

4. Prepare Your Case  

Write a little script of what you want to say in the meeting, including the value you bring to the business, how you love your job, but feel that you are now worth more. Here’s where you can mention some of your achievements that have had an impact on the business – and where possible, these should be quantifiable e.g. the successful media campaign you ran for a client, that led them to increase the budget with your agency. You can also talk about your future plans to demonstrate your pro-activeness. 

Also consider your delivery here, including your body language. It is still a conversation, rather than a presentation. Sit up straight, make eye contact and speak confidently. Perhaps practise with a friend if you’re feeling particularly nervous. 


5. Be Prepared For The Answer

You need to be prepared for all eventualities. You may be required to take on more responsibility in order to earn the extra salary, or to demonstrate you have the skills to get a pay rise in a few months’ time. A good manager will explain what you need to do to develop to become eligible for one if you’re not quite there yet. 

It may just be a no, and you need to be prepared for that to be the case too.  Consider whether there are other ways for you to improve your role if a pay rise isn’t an option. Could you ask for training or negotiate other perks like flexible working?

Avoid ultimatums. If it’s a straight no, consider whether it’s a deciding factor as to whether you stay at the company. You may need to consider looking for a new job in order to get the salary you want.

dotgap can help you find a new digital marketing or media role. We’re a recruitment agency with a difference.  Being ex-agency ourselves, we understand you, your industry and the challenges you face. We don’t believe in giving you the hard sell. At dotgap, we listen. For current vacancies, visit our jobs page or get in touch today!   

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