How To Make A Case For A Pay Rise


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Your income is your greatest wealth-building tool and our salary tends to also define our value and self-worth. Let’s be honest, it’s one of the key reasons you go to work.

The problem is when you don’t feel your pay matches the effort your putting into your work, trying to identify and quantify your current salary versus what it should be getting can be difficult.

Over the years I’ve received many a pay rise, and it can certainly help boost your morale, confidence and productivity. There is also a level of satisfaction that comes from your employer recognising your EFFORT and VALUE to the organisation.

It’s the VALUE you bring that is your LEVERAGE when it comes to salary. Whether in a new position or an existing one, defining and quantifying your value is what will support your efforts for a raise moving forward.

Let’s Get Real

I’m not going to sit here and say you can unequivocally get a raise in your current position.  It’s nice idea, but the reality is many employers are unwilling or unable to offer a higher salary (for many reasons).

The 2 main opportunities to increase how much money you make are either:

  1. When you get a new job or;
  2. When you ask for a raise in an existing job


I would love for #2 to be the one which likely wins, but the reality is different. So, whilst asking for a pay rise in your current position is certainly one to explore as the first step, be prepared to make the decision to move on to get more $$.

Making Your Case

For those of you who have a sense of entitlement around a higher salary, the reality is your employer doesn’t share the same view.

There is definitely a right and wrong way to pitch your request and believing you simply “deserve” one because of your tenure, education, age etc isn’t going to get you the outcome you want.

On the flipside is the overly personal or emotional request. Wanting to renovate your house, put your kids through private school or buy a new car isn’t going to help your boss justify a pay rise either.

Quantifying Your Work

To make your case effectively it all comes back to the VALUE you bring or have injected into the organisation.

Your boss is far more interested in how much you’ve saved or generated for the organisation than hearing you’ve been with the company 10 years and it’s about time you got a pay rise.

Whilst, your dedication as a loyal employee is certainly something you can add into your pitch it’s not what’s going to what seal the deal.

Start by brainstorming the following for your most recent position:

  • How many? Relates to the number of i.e. “How many new clients you’ve acquired”.
  • How much? Relates to the quantity or cost of i.e. “How much revenue you’ve generated or how much money you’ve saved”.
  • How big? Relates to the size of i.e. “How big you have grown your territory” – which can then be calculated as “How much revenue this has generated”.
  • How fast? Relates to how quickly you do a function i.e. “How fast do you assemble mechanical units of household appliances” – which can then be calculated into “How much you exceed production targets” and if you work with a manager you can then calculate this into “how much revenue this generates”.
  • Percentages/Dollar Amounts/ Time Frames? That is applicable to your role but where you have exceeded or reduced these.
  • How well/How Often/How Difficult? These also factor into quantifying your job.


Make your numbers count! Run some comparisons on what others are accomplishing in the same position or at the same age. Do they meet or exceed the norm?

All of these help build your case whilst increasing your value and self-confidence.

It’s All In The Timing

One of the challenges of asking for a pay rise is timing it correctly. There may never be a perfect time but if your employer just lost a huge customer — or sales weren’t what they expected in the most recent quarter — it’s probably not the best time to ask for a raise.

Many people wait until their annual performance review to discuss a raise (which is perfectly fine) or when annual budgets are developed. Either way, you’ll need to bite the bullet and organise a time to speak with your boss.

Just, try to avoid asking when your boss is about to go on a holiday……..

Negotiating May Be The Winning Ticket

Knowing where your company is at financially is important to landing an increase. If your employer is struggling financially, sometimes, to get a raise, you must do it in a way that will offset the extra money your employer has to shell out.

This means you might have to make an agreement that you will “increase GP by 20% in 3-months” or “you’ll secure an additional $100k in funding” to get the increase you are after.

Remember, employees are an expense to the business and so you might need be to be proactive in order to get what you want or the level of raise you want.


Final Thoughts

Hope this article has given you some insight into how you are much more in control of your current circumstances than perhaps you thought. Considering the above points may just start a positive chain reaction that can generate more work satisfaction, potential to succeed and more money.

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