Salary increase – how to ask your employer for it?

We associate the talk of a pay rise positively and negatively. The former, because everyone could use some extra money, especially with rising inflation. The latter, because it is usually a highly stressful situation for us. How to ask for a salary increase from your employer? What arguments can you put forward to convince your employer that you deserve it?

salary increase

Interview for a pay rise – how to prepare?

The key to getting a pay rise is a properly planned conversation. No matter how good a relationship you have with your boss, he or she will expect good arguments. These are to confirm that you deserve a higher salary. Make a list of your achievements, projects you have carried out and cases you have solved well. Think about how your work contributes to the company you work for. Think about the answer: “why should you be the one to get a raise among other employees”. 

Create a scenario of the situation – this will keep you calm during the interview and boost your confidence. Repeating to yourself the points you will make you less stressed. Pick out different tracks of events and prepare a statement for each. This will enable you to respond accordingly.

Remember that good preparation has a greater chance of a positive end than the absence of good arguments. 


When to ask for a raise at work

Choose the right time to interview for a raise. Find out what the company’s financial situation is like. Asking for a raise while the company is making spending cuts is inappropriate. You can be sure that you can count on a refusal at such a time.

So when to ask for a raise? The best time is when the company is in a stable position. Preferably immediately after some successes. Think carefully about when to undertake such a conversation. Perhaps the end of the year is a good time – companies often plan their budget for the new year then. If raises are not included, there may not be an opportunity for your salary to increase at a later date.

If you are before or after holiday or sick leave then hold the conversation. Large companies do not have such a broad view of all employees. Your extended absence may mean that, you will need to remind your boss of your effectiveness.

Observe your boss and his mood. His mood certainly makes a big difference. Don’t start a conversation on the run or if you see that he is having a stressful day. It is best to make an appointment and mention what the meeting will be about. Your employer will also be able to prepare and reflect on you and your performance. 

Try to take up an interview after completing an important project where you have contributed to the company’s profits or demonstrated good work. 

If you have been given new responsibilities, e.g. after an employee has left and you will have more work – this is also a good time to ask for a raise.

Think about the day of the week. Monday is certainly not one of your favourite days at work, so it’s best to skip it. A good time to talk about a raise might be the middle of the week or Friday morning. Try to make an appointment on either of these days and you may be able to make a positive impact on your proposal.

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Arguments for a raise – the course of the conversation

The most important thing in a pay rise interview is the arguments you present to your boss. It’s worth choosing them correctly, as they will determine whether or not your pay will increase.

Be specific in what you say. Remember, if you are doing your job properly – this is no argument. You should find something that sets you apart from others. Example arguments:

  • Results of work

Include in your statement your achievements that have had an impact on the company. This could be the acquisition of a new client, the implementation of important improvements or the positive completion of a major project.

Are you constantly learning, doing courses and training and your knowledge continues to grow? Show your employer that you are developing. 

  • Completion of the probationary period

If a contract extension is getting ready, it’s a sign that your employer has appreciated your efforts. This can be a great opportunity to ask for a pay increase.

  • You have been given new responsibilities 

When we take up a job, we agree to the conditions presented to us. Our responsibilities are defined at the outset. If any new ones arise, you have the right to ask for a pay rise. 

  • You have higher qualifications than other employees

Demonstrate that your qualifications directly contribute to your performance. Propose changes that can improve the company’s performance. You could, for example, make a proposal to train other employees with the knowledge you have. 

  • Length of service

How much you work for a company can be one of the arguments when you are interviewed for a raise. Remember, however, that it should not be the only argument presented. Think of it as an additional basis for negotiation. 

  • Greater responsibility 

If you have been given new responsibilities that involve more responsibility. You have managed a project or had to decide on something yourself. You can include this in your speech. More responsibility means more stress. 

  • Earnings in other companies

You can mention the fact that you earn more in other companies for the same position. But do it quite gently. Such an argument may anger your boss, who will think you are threatening him or her with leaving for another company. 

We all know that difficult times are ahead. Inflation is growing in sight, prices are getting higher and higher. We can buy fewer and fewer things with our wages. You can mention the current economic situation of the country, surely the employer will understand. 


How much of a pay rise

Prepare the amount of stake you would like to get. Think it through a few times. An exorbitant amount of salary increase may influence a negative consideration of your request. So think carefully about how much you will offer your boss.

Find out how much others earn in a similar position. Review the offers and average the salary. Think realistically – expectations that are too high may alienate your employer. 

Typically, the amount of loan requested is 10-15%. If you combine jobs or take on new responsibilities, it can be up to 20-30%. Of course, it all depends on the industry in which you work. There are some professionals who can even expect raises of up to 50%! However, assess your skills rationally.  

Consider what minimum amount you are able to accept. Leave room for negotiation. If the employer does not agree to your proposal, you can negotiate the rate with them.

salary increase

How NOT to talk about a raise

If you want to be well received by your boss, don’t talk about certain topics:

  • Do not refer to private matters

It is a bad argument to talk about the fact that you took out a loan or had a baby. These are not the criteria by which an employer sets a salary. 

  • Don’t compare yourself to your colleagues

Talking about other employees earning more than you is not a good argument. 

  • Don’t blackmail yourself into leaving the company 

The worst thing you can do is to show nervousness and start hurling threats.


Refusal of an increase 

If you get a rejection from your boss, remember to stay calm. Don’t treat it as a failure. Ask your employer what you can improve in your work to get a raise. 

Talking about a pay rise is certainly a very stressful situation for most people. Many people would rather look for a new job than apply for an increase in their salary. If you feel you deserve more – try your best. If you don’t succeed – don’t break down. Show your employer that you deserve a raise and try again some time later. 


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