5 Steps To Getting A Pay Rise

Posted 2 years ago •

Feeling those itchy feet about your current salary? Follow our guide on how you can put yourself in the best position to approach your boss with a case and get the discussion about your pay on the table.

Step 1: Put yourself in the best position

The first thing to think about is where you may be in your boss’s eyes in order to negotiate a pay rise. You do not want what should be a positive meeting turned into an exhaustive list of improvements you could be making!

Tie up any loose ends

Is there any work your manager asked you to complete that you may have forgotten about or have placed aside for another day? Tackle those first. This also goes for any other managers or team mates that may have the lead on a project you’re working on.

Fix easy mistakes

If you’ve made a habit of leaving a little earlier or arriving later than your start time, fix these immediately. This can also include checking your mobile phone, taking cigarette breaks or talking with your colleagues for long periods of time. These are easy habits to break but ones that can have an impact on performance reviews.

Show your keenness for your role 

If you have been in your position for some time, it can be easy to get complacent. If your manager asks who can take a piece of work, seize it with positivity. Make them aware you want to take on more responsibilities.

Step 2: Research

The next step is to research average salary for your role in the UK. There are a number of online salary checkers you can use, but we’d also recommend checking ‘find a job’ pages to see what similar roles are advertising for. How do they match up to your current role?

Have a figure in mind bfore you speak and always aim higher so you can negotiate. If you get your raise, it may mean you aren’t able to discuss salary again for some time so make it count!

You should also check out current statistics on the labour market, luckily we have our own right here.

Step 3: Review

Your performance

Take a step back and review the work you’ve achieved over your time in the role or since your last pay review. If it helps, make a list. Do you have any written feedback from other areas you can provide? If you’ve taken on other duties outside of your job make sure your manager is aware. 

Use every advantage you can to help weight your case including training and qualifications you may have achieved.


Besides the salary review, have a think about the next steps for you in your career. What goals do you have for the next 6 - 12 months that would help the company? Showing your manager what your goals are will help illustrate what direction you are taking in the future.


Simply wanting a salary rise because a colleague has had one is not enough of a reason; your manager needs more than this. It should also not include personal reasons such as issues with money or debt. The reasons should be focused solely on work and what you deserve.

Step 4: Timing

Timing is incredibly important when it comes to negotiating a pay rise. Think about the following factors when booking your meeting:

  • When was the last time your salary was reviewed?
  • Have you recently completed a successful project?
  • Are you expected to be made permanent in your role or is your contract due for renewal?
  • How is the company doing in terms of financial performance?
  • Consider the end of the financial year when budgets are most likely to be reviewed
  • The day of the week (Monday is a no go as well as a Friday afternoon!)
  • A quiet time in your boss’s schedule

Step 5: Prepare and schedule your meeting

Once you have considered the above steps, schedule your meeting. You may have one in the diary already but if not, make your manager aware you wish to discuss your performance.

Depending upon your relationship with your boss, you may wish to mention you want to discuss salary. If you feel this may put them off, simply asking for a review of your performance should be enough.

During the meeting

Recall the days of your interview and be professional, confident and prepared on the day:

  • Use positive language rather than negative and be clear in your wording (no dancing around the subject)
  • It may help to summarise your achievements first and then bring up the subject of the pay rise
  • State a clear figure of what you want
  • You may be asked on the spot why you deserve it so ensure you are prepared
  • Prepare yourself for what might be said but remain professional throughout
  • Make sure you set some goals for the next few months and when to follow up

After the meeting

More than likely your manager will need to go higher in order to get an answer for you. This may mean some time to wait.

To add a final flourish on your meeting, follow up with an email outlining what was said and the next steps forward. You may wish to attach your achievements and goals for the next few months (though ensure you keep these in mind and do not forget about them!) as well as repeat the figure mentioned in the meeting and your reasons for it.

If the answer is no

The reasons behind it could vary. It could either be down to the business or down to your performance in your boss’s eyes. If it is the latter, do not be too disheartened. Ask your manager for black and white reasons as to why you have been refused - this may help you in the long run!

However, if after some persistence, improvement and time you are still not granted a pay rise, it may be time to move on...


At Pertemps, we can offer a confidential chat with one of our consultants about your current role. Simply access our branch locator or search one of our jobs today to find that next step in your career ladder.

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