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How to talk your boss into giving you a pay raise

To get a pay raise, you must first convince yourself and then convince your boss that your value to the company entitles you to it. Writer Gerard McLoughlin offers some advice to help you get the raise you deserve!

Woman requesting pay raise


If you believe you deserve a pay raise, ask for it as soon as possible; don’t procrastinate or wait for your employer to offer it.

2Determine your worth

Determine what you are worth in the marketplace by carrying out a survey of people in comparable jobs. Never base your case on a need for more money.

3Be realistic

Be realistic in your assessment of what you are worth and what your employer would be willing or able to pay. Have an exact figure in mind before entering into negotiations. Avoid comparisons. Never compare your salary to someone else’s.


Remember that bosses want employees who contribute to the company’s success by:increasing sales, profits and efficiency; decreasing waste, costs and time taken; improving corporate image, customer relationships and competitive advantage.

5Be detailed

Carry out a detailed analysis of your job description. Be as objective as you can, identifying specific ways in which the company has benefited from your skills, qualifications, work, and experience.

6Anticipate difficult questions

Anticipate difficult questions, by identifying weaknesses in your case and preparing positive answers.

7Highlighting your achievements

If you have records of recent appraisals, study them carefully highlighting your achievements and indicating how you have addressed any shortcomings.

8Assess your performance

Know what standards your employer uses for assessing performance and tailor your delivery accordingly.

9Prepare documentation

Prepare clear and concise documentation of relevant salary facts and figures, and details of the ways in which you are contributing to the company.

10Use negotiating skills

Be aware of the importance of negotiating skills: listen carefully to what your boss is saying; don’t be confrontational; avoid ultimatums; and, if necessary, be prepared to compromise.


Rehearse your performance with a valued friend who is prepared to ask you searching questions, criticize your delivery and provide you with constructive feedback.

12Try again

If, because of circumstances beyond his control, your employer feels unable at this time to give you a pay raise, thank him or her for listening and ask to have your pay reviewed within three months.

Remember that you will have to work with your boss in the future; so, leave the meeting on good terms, and NEVER bang the door behind you.

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