Asking for more money is quite possibly the most dreaded of all workplace conversations. It’s a situation that can be challenging for even the most confident of people. Sadly, it’s also an issue that women in particular find difficult to approach without disappearing into a pool of anxiety. However, with the right attitude, you CAN get what you need. Here are some pointers on how to get the financial reward that you deserve…

pay rise

Be honest with yourself

We all want to be paid what we believe to be a reasonable wage and one that seems comparable with those around us and the current market. It’s easy to fall in to a trap of feeling that you’re owed by your employer, without really thinking about whether you’re keeping your side of the bargain. Before you start jumping up and down about not being paid enough, put yourself in your boss’s shoes and consider if you’re delivering as much as you could be and meeting expectations.

Prepare your case

If, after taking a good, long, look in the mirror you feel that there is a solid argument for deserving a pay rise, then it’s time to build your case. What objectives have you been set that you’ve met? Where have you exceeded expectations? What value have you added above and beyond what is expected of your role? Collect the evidence ready for your conversation, that will help support your belief that you deserve more.


Pick your moment

If you’re not comfortable having this chat, you can guarantee that whoever’s on the receiving end isn’t either. Your employer has their own pressures and emotions around financial requests, having to manage the business’s bottom line with the expectations of the workforce. So, choose a moment that will help create the best conditions for your conversation. It might be a scheduled meeting regarding your performance, meaning it won’t be much of a surprise or you might need to take the initiative. If it’s the latter, choose a time when diaries are less pressured and there’s likely to be more headspace for those in the decision making seat.

Believe in yourself

One of the main reasons that people get nervous asking for a pay rise is that they put their fate in their employer’s hands. You are relying on someone else to say yes to your request, and so the idea of them saying no and not giving you what you want feels like failure. Don’t be so quick to give your power away; approaching this situation with a demeanour of confidence in what you have to offer means that you will be less attached to the result. If they agree, great. If they don’t, then this is also ok. It simply presents you with a different set of choices and decisions to make. Having a sense of self-worth to begin with means that you know that if this employer doesn’t recognise your value, your next one will.

shopping pay rise

Agree some milestones

All being well, you and your boss are on the same page and a pay rise is agreed. However, more often than not, further conversations need to be had internally, boxes ticked etc. If your employer seems unconvinced that a salary increase is possible, make sure you’re completely clear on why this is and ask what else you would need to be doing in order to justify the rise. Don’t settle for wishy washy answers. Get the clarity and you can assess whether the gaps are in what you are delivering, or whether they are circumstantial and therefore it’s time to move on.