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How to ask for a pay rise

Negotiating on pay can be a difficult and nerve wracking experience for many people and if not handled correctly can cause ill feeling with your employer. If they don’t have regular pay reviews, most employers have yearly staff appraisals, which are often a good time to discuss salaries. However, you may feel that you deserve an increase to your salary during the year, because you've taken on additional responsibility or been promoted.

Before asking to discuss your salary, ensure you have done your research. What is the average salary for your role? You can find out a lot of information regarding salaries from job ads, by searching for similar roles to yours on- and offline and comparing salaries. Remember to take into account the size and sector of organisations you compare with. You may also find relevant sector salary guides through Google. You can find our fundraising and marketing and communications salary surveys on our website.

Think about when it is best to broach the subject; it may be best to email your manager, asking to discuss it in a formal meeting, as this gives them time to absorb the information and do their own research.

Provide information to your manager in this meeting as to why you deserve a pay rise. What benefits have you brought to the organisation? Have you helped implement a new system? Have you saved them money? Be prepared to talk about what you plan to achieve in the next year to show your long term commitment to your role and how the company will benefit.

If you are told that there is no budget for a salary increase at the moment or there is a pay freeze, ask what you need to do to be considered for a pay rise when this changes or ask for a timescale that you could work towards when they would review this again.

Remember that salary is only one area of your package and many companies offer other benefits, such as a pension or private healthcare. If a salary increase is not an option they may be able to offer other additional benefits, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Don’t try to blackmail your employer by declaring you have been offered another role with a higher salary, as they will only question your commitment to the company. Ensure your reasons for asking for a salary increase are strictly work related; telling your employer you want to save for a house or family is not going to help justify a pay rise.

Finally, don’t be disheartened if you are not given a salary increase, by asking you will be in a better position to know what you need to do to get a pay rise next time.