The 5 best ways to ask for (and get) that big raise you deserve

It's tough to ask for a raise, even when we deserve it.

The reasons why we're so reluctant to demand a higher wage include fear of rejection, self-esteem issues, or feelings of inadequacy. And many of us don't know how - or when - to ask for one.

And that's why NetCredit put together its latest piece of research. It explains everything you need to know about requesting and getting that raise.

How to Ask for a Raise (in Five Different Scenarios)

Here's a breakdown of how you can put those tips into action.

Five reasons why it's OK time to ask for a raise

Asking for a raise is all about timing. And if you want more money, then you need to bring something to the negotiating table that shows your worth or proves you deserve a bigger slice of the money pie.

Here are five common workplace scenarios that are ideal times to talk about a raise…

Scenario one: You're doing more work

This one is pretty obvious. Because if you're doing more work (or work that comes with much greater responsibility), then it's only fair that you get paid more.

But it's not always as simple as that. As we said, asking for a pay bump is about timing.

So don't start talking about a raise a few days after you start your new duties. It screams that you're only doing it for the money. Most companies don't like this. Instead, they value people willing to take on responsibility for responsibility's sake and because they believe in what their company is doing.

Instead, use the first few months as your trial period. Focus on doing your best work, smashing targets, and adding real value. Prove yourself, then ask for that raise.

Most employment experts advise waiting around six months before asking for a meeting about a pay rise.

Scenario two: You're being underpaid

There's an easy way to determine if you're being paid enough - and by enough, we mean in line with the average salary for your job role and responsibilities.

All you need to do is Google it! Sites like Glassdoor, Payscale, Indeed, and are ideal resources for seeing how your monthly pay packet compares to your industry peers.

Hard and well-researched data like this is precisely what you need when entering pay negotiations with your company. It puts you in a strong position from the outset. It shows that you're serious, understand your worth, and know there are other companies willing to pay more for what you can do.

Scenario three: You've moved up the career ladder

Don't presume that your next promotion will come with a raise. Because you could be in for an unpleasant surprise. A study by leading recruitment agency Robert Half found that nearly 4 out of 10 promoted people don't receive the automatic pay rise they expected.

But why?

Some take it as a given and don't ask. Others feel too nervous about bringing up the subject. After all, 'talking money' is an uncomfortable experience for many people.

But if you want more money, you need to discuss the prospect of more money.

If you get offered a step up the ladder, request a full breakdown of the remuneration packet, including benefits and add-ons, before agreeing to take it.

And don't feel shy about asking for a little more. As long as your request is reasonable and justifiable, the worst thing your employer can do is say no. If that happens, use it as an opportunity to set a timeline for when you can renegotiate your salary.

For example, you and your supervisor could agree to revisit the subject in six months. It's an excellent compromise for both parties and an even better way to keep you focused on producing your best work.

Scenario four: It's annual review time!

Most annual performance reviews will involve a discussion about pay. But remember, the main focus of the evaluation is your performance. That's why they called annual performance reviews and not annual pay reviews.

If you've performed adequately or a little bit better than adequately, then asking for a pay rise right now might not be the best idea.

Asking for a pay bump based on an average or standard performance shows a lack of self-awareness that your supervisor won't appreciate.

Pay rises are reserved for the stand-out, high-level performers who have gone above and beyond, exceeded expectations, and absolutely crushed their targets.

If you're that person, bring along a list of all your achievements, KPI reports, and sales figures to the meeting. Don't tell your boss you deserve a pay rise; show them the evidence proving that you deserve one.

Scenario five: Closing the gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is real - there's no doubt about that fact. A report by the UK Parliament found that the median pay for employees was 14.9% less for women than for men in 2022.

But not all pay disparities between men and women can be attributed to institutional sexism.

So before you start talking about the gender pay gaps impacting your salary, do all of the necessary research and due diligence.

Again, this is one of those scenarios where facts and data are your best (and most persuasive) friends.

You need to consider skill sets, knowledge, experience, number of hours worked, overtime, performance bonuses, and levels of responsibility. If all those align with someone of the other sex getting paid more than you, then get in there and demand (politely, of course) that raise. Because you deserve it.

What to do if you don't get that raise

The conversation about a potential raise might not go how you want it to. As such, it's important to prepare yourself for a negative outcome and, more importantly, react positively.

Here are a few do's and don'ts to consider

Make sure you...
  • Stay positive
  • Set future targets to help you achieve your goals
  • Consider other roles at other companies
  • Ask for constructive feedback
And don't...
  • Let your standards or output fall
  • Take it personally
  • Sulk, complain, or feel resentful. You’re better than that!
You know what you're worth. And these tips will ensure your pay packet reflects it!

How to ask for a pay rise in 5 common scenarios (step-by-step guide)

Read next: Uncovering the Hidden Poverty: A Charted Look at the World's Working Poor by Country
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