How to request a pay rise

If you’re going to ask for a pay rise, you have to show that you’re worth it. So, you have to go in well-prepared. A company only agrees to a request of this type when they want to keep the employee. Show them that you are one of its talented workers.

How can you request a pay rise?

After being in the company for some time, or when the salary is negotiated at a job interview, all employees consider facing the dreaded subject of and yet longed for salary raise. All employees are entitled to it. However, merely working for years in a company is not a good reason to ask for one, rather it should be your work itself that brings value to the company.

Putting forward the number of years worked, the effort made or another subjective reason, is not going to bring about a pay rise. A company will only consider this request if they want to keep the employee.

Thus, the most important thing to think about when asking yourself how to negotiate a pay rise, is to consider how to sell the work you do and what the company will gain from it. And remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. How should you go about it?

Prepare for the salary negotiation interview

An interview to request a raise in salary has to be well prepared.

It first requires a self-evaluation of your work as an employee: What has the work you have carried out up till now been like? Has it been mediocre or have you given your all? Has it been unsupervised or are the managers aware of the value you have contributed? What about your experience, the knowledge you have gained, and your level of responsibility? It’s very important to see yourself through the eyes of the company and be honest with yourself.

Find out about the salaries paid by the company, those of colleagues doing a similar job, salaries of other companies, those of the sector… in order to take real references along to the interview. Perhaps you already have a good salary. Then request a formal interview for a salary review.

A presentation including the work carried out up to now and the successes achieved, as well as planned projects for the coming years should be taken to the interview. This can be supported with the improvement of professional skills achieved during this time. This has to be proven with specific projects, figures and the degree of your participation in the company’s results.

And of course, you should have a clear idea of how much more you would like to earn. This shouldn’t be a ridiculously small amount, nor an over-the-top raise. You should also think whether you’re willing to accept bonuses such as food allowance vouchers, timetable flexibility, teleworking etc.

The difficulty of negotiating the salary

Negotiating is not an easy task. There can be a high level of tension on each side to defend their interests and there’s a fine line between gaining more or losing everything. Achieving a salary raise therefore entails a dual challenge: that of requesting something that the other party does not wish to give, and what there is to gain and coming away from the negotiation with a win.

For this reason, before meeting for this important negotiation which you will have already prepared well for, it is also useful to work on your self-confidence. You have to go along with full confidence in yourself, willing to demonstrate your value to the company. Additionally, asking for a raise shows that the person values him/herself and is concerned about their own career progression.

You also have to search for the right moment. A time when the company is not experiencing any economic problems or is focused on a project that requires all their attention. You should be well informed of the company’s financial situation.

Having said all this, the best option is to try to seek a “win-win result” from the negotiation. In other words, requesting for a pay rise to continue successfully along the proposed route and to compensate for the effort that will be required in the coming years, with a new level of professional expectation.

Once this proposal has been made, the attitude in which it was received should be analysed along with the answer provided by the company. You might get a ‘no’ at this moment in time, but it could be requested again in the future. Faced with a refusal, it’s also a good option to ask what is expected to be able to receive a rise at a later date.


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