Wednesday 8 January 2020 5:31 am

How to ask your boss for a pay rise in 2020

January is one of the busiest hiring months of the year, as many people re-evaluate their career options over the holiday period. Perhaps you enjoy your current job and don’t want to leave it, but would quite like a pay rise.

If you believe that you’re working above your pay grade and are consistently producing good results, then the new year is a good time to ask for one. 

Of course, asking for a raise can be daunting — there’s the risk of rejection and disappointment, or the fear of appearing greedy and ungrateful. 

If you’re unsure of how to approach the situation, here are four tips to maximise your chances of securing a better pay packet.

Evaluate yourself


A good starting point is to evaluate your performance against your main roles and responsibilities. Are there any areas in which you have excelled that you can really shout about? 

You should be prepared to share specific examples of your work and how they have positively benefited the business. Demonstrate where you have had success and gone above and beyond your job role in order to show your boss all of the reasons that you’re deserving of a pay rise. 

Also, try using online tools like Value My CV to get an instant salary estimate based on your skills and the market average, which can give you leverage when approaching salary negotiations.  

Make yourself stand out

There are always ways that you can increase your “value” in any organisation. Seize the opportunity to take up any onsite training that may be available, or take on new projects to build your experience. 

Doing so will look positive in the eyes of your employer and help expand your skillset to stand out from the crowd. 

Also, employers are increasingly looking for their staff to have good “soft skills”, such as communication, problem-solving, and negotiation. In fact, recent data from Adzuna shows that 24 per cent of job specifications ask for communication skills, but only 17 per cent of Brits list this skill on their CV. So it’s a good idea to emphasise your proficiency in these areas when asking your employer to increase your wage.

Timing is everything 

Many organisations will have performance reviews for employees, but while this may seem like the perfect window of opportunity to ask for a pay rise, don’t limit yourself to this time frame. 


If you believe that you go above and beyond your job role, and you can make your case effectively, then take the leap at the start of the year and proactively approach your manager.

Be prepared for a ‘no’

Of course, you should always prepare yourself for a “no”. There are lots of reasons why businesses cannot give pay rises; sometimes they don’t have the funds, or it may be unfair to other employees. 

If this is the case, try to avoid feeling disheartened. Instead, take the opportunity to gather valuable feedback on your performance from your employer, and don’t be afraid to ask when a pay rise may be feasible. 

While you have the time with your manager, it may also be worth looking into other benefits that your company may offer beyond monetary rewards if a pay rise isn’t possible right now. Review perks such as health schemes that you could benefit from, or negotiate flexible working hours. Being able to approach your boss with an open mind demonstrates that you are willing to work with the company, to find a happy medium where both parties are happy.

Hopefully these tips will help you pluck up the courage to ask for that raise. And remember, if you don’t get what you want, you can always apply for a job elsewhere.

Main image credit: Getty

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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