How to ask for a pay rise

Have you ever considered asking for a pay rise? Keen to understand how best to raise the topic with your manager?

Kindred Recruitment’s Director Katie Jackson, highlights key areas for consideration giving you the best chance of success when negotiating your salary.


The timing of your request

First of all, consider the timing of your request for a pay rise. How is your employer doing in terms of business? An employer experiencing strong business levels is more likely to entertain the conversation. It’s unrealistic and perhaps poor judgement to approach your manager when the company is struggling financially, freezing recruitment or making redundancies to cut costs.

Timing is key to setting yourself up for a successful meeting. Have you considered how you or your team are performing? It’s more likely your request for a pay rise will be listened to if you can give recent examples of where you have gone over and above the responsibilities of your role.

If you can justify your reasons for asking, it makes it less easy for your manager to dismiss your request.

Understand your value

Arming yourself with credible and current statistics around your own market value is a robust method to showcasing your worth. There are multiple free sites available online with up-to-date salary information, salary surveys and salary calculators. Why not speak to industry specialist recruiters who can advise on the current state of the market as well as demand levels in your local area.

Keep the reasons work related

We are all experiencing increased costs across the board, whether it’s energy to heat our homes or the price of petrol or train fares to commute to work. Regardless of price rises, it’s important to keep your justifications for a salary review work related. You’ll have a much stronger case and chance of success if you focus on your value to the business.

Schedule a face-to-face meeting

Whilst writing an email may be easier and allow you to get all of your points down in black and white, talking face to face will give you more chance of reading your manager’s reaction and tailoring the conversation to suit.

  1. Find a quiet time in your manager’s diary or include it as a point to discuss in your weekly or monthly catch-up.
  2. Be confident in raising the subject, be specific about what you want to discuss and why. Reference all of the research you have done and highlight 3-4 valid reasons why you believe it’s the right time for a pay increase.
  3. It can be helpful to mention a specific salary you are looking for, or a percentage increase which may align with your research findings. Another option might be to use a salary bracket, demonstrating flexibility within this range but helping your manager have a clear understanding of the numbers you are working to.
  4. Use positive language throughout the discussion. For example, you may have a great working relationship with your manager or wish to remain with the company for the foreseeable future. Highlight your commitment to the organisation as a long-term employee.

Follow up in writing

Follow up the meeting with a summary in writing. This is a great opportunity to be clear and concise about your reasons and justifications for asking. It will prompt your manager to follow up on the matter and come back to you with a decision. Depending on the outcome, it could also serve as a useful prompt for revisiting the subject if a pay rise is not granted on this occasion.

Should you compromise?

If you are not successful in securing your salary increase, ask for a follow up meeting to understand the reasons why and if there is anything you can address to facilitate another conversation.

Your manager may suggest setting some additional targets, hopefully in a reasonable time frame, that once achieved will allow you to revisit the conversation. It’s unlikely your manager will want to lose you, so work with your manager to reach your goal.

If your base salary can’t be increased, have you considered any other workplace benefits that could be introduced or increased? Would a day working from home, title change, or additional holiday provide an interim solution?


You won’t be the first person to ask for a pay rise, and we all want to earn our worth in the workplace. The key is to have an open and honest, calm and polite conversation with your manager to kick start the topic, backed up by relevant examples.


If you are about to embark on a similar conversation – good luck!

How to ask for a pay rise



About the author

Katie Jackson, founder of Kindred RecruitmentKatie Jackson is the founder of Kindred Recruitment and has worked in fast-paced B2B marketing teams and within the sales and marketing recruitment industry for almost a decade.

Her goal is simple – to connect the brightest marketing talent with brilliant businesses in London and beyond.

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