8 ways to ask for a pay rise (right now!)

If you’ve been in your job for at least a year and have been blowing everyone away with your awesomeness, you probably deserve a raise. But how do you approach the subject with your boss (eek!)?

Research shows that a major reason men still earn more than women is because we don’t feel as comfortable negotiating a higher salary. One study found that a full two thirds of women have never asked for a pay rise, despite the fact that up to 80 per cent of us feel underpaid.

Asking for a pay rise can indeed be nerve-wracking, but don’t let that stop you from earning what you deserve!

We’ve put together some top tips for getting the salary you want.

1. Negotiate a higher starting salary

Before you even need to deal with asking for a raise, make sure you negotiate a comfortable starting salary. Recent statistics have shown that female grads in the UK start on an average of £21k, while male graduates with the same qualifications in the same jobs negotiate starting salaries of £24k.

Don’t be afraid to ask if there’s room for negotiation, or, if asked for salary requirements, to give a higher amount than you might think you deserve. People will respect you for asking, and if you don’t ask you’ll never know!

2. Know your value

This means doing your research. Check websites like TotalJobs or Payscale to find out how much other people in your industry make on average. Talk with HR, trusted colleagues, veteran employees or a mentor to get more insight on how much you should or could be making. Come armed with information and data.

3. Practise makes perfect

Practise what you’re going to say, out loud. Role-play with your friends. Say them so many times that you can hear the words without thinking too hard about them. If you’re extra shy, practise confident body language like sitting up straight and not fidgeting too much. When you finally get in there, just smile, look your boss in the eye and speak up.

4. Be rational, not emotional

Give your boss logical reasons to pay you more, instead of playing up personal circumstances. You’re much more likely to get a result by showing them how you’ve exceeding their expectations rather than complaining that you’re broke.

5. Bring evidence of your successes

It’s much easier to prove your worth to your boss when you have actual physical proof. Come in with specific examples of what a good job you’re doing, whether that’s bringing in more sales, receiving great customer feedback, or expanding the company’s social media following.

6. Request a specific amount

Saying you want £25,500 rather than just “I think I deserve a raise” shows your boss that you’re serious and have done your research. Also avoid giving a salary range – your boss will likely go for the lower end of the range.

7. Be direct, then be quiet

Tell them exactly what you want and why you deserve it, then keep quiet. The silence is a crucial negotiating tactic that forces the other person to make a move, and your boss will likely (hopefully) make an offer. When they do, take your time if you need to think about it. Or make a counter offer.

8. What if they say no?

Don’t give up! Ask for other forms of compensation, such as more paid time off or benefits. Request feedback and constructive criticism so you know what you need to do to get a yes. Keep working hard and ask again in three to six months.

Alternatively, if you really feel overworked and underpaid (and your boss won’t budge), consider leaving.

Now what?