How to get a pay rise

More travel jobs are available and lots of companies are increasing their salaries, so now’s the perfect time to ask for a pay rise, right? Possibly. But before you walk into your manager’s office demanding a 20 per cent salary hike, make sure you’re fully prepared, have chosen the ideal time and can prove that you’re completely worth the extra cash

Return to News & insights

Be professional…

The last thing most of us want is to jeopardise our job, so work out exactly what you want to say in advance and, perhaps most importantly, how you want to say it. You could essentially treat it as a mini job interview – dress well, do your research and have stats lined up to back up what you say.

…and confident

Timidly asking your boss if there’s any slight chance that you could maybe, perhaps have a few more pounds, please, is unlikely to get you anywhere. If you don’t sound like you’re worth a pay rise, then your manager will find it too easy to deny you one, so it’s absolutely crucial to be confident and sound like you deserve every penny that you’re asking for.

It’s worth remembering that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for a pay rise. If you’ve earned it and your employer can afford to give you a wage hike, then why shouldn’t you get it?

Explain why you’re worth it…

If you don’t know why you deserve a pay rise, then neither will your boss, so work out your strategy in advance. Don’t rely on sympathy. It’s not enough to walk in there asking for some extra cash because your rent’s going up next month; your boss will need some iron-clad examples to back up your demands - if only so they can justify it to their boss.

As we mentioned in our job interview guide, employers love examples of a candidate’s work, so prepare a list of accomplishments and show them exactly what you’re worth to the company. Have you saved the business money? Do you successfully carry out tasks beyond your basic job description? Have you received praise from other clients? Make notes of all of these things and build up a case for why you deserve a better salary.

One of the best ways to demonstrate your worth is to show why the company needs you and why you would be a loss if you had to potentially walk away in the future. Think about how having you on the team would benefit the company going forward and try to come up with a plan of what you will bring to the business over the next few years. But remember to be realistic – don’t promise to put in extra hours every week if you don’t intend to.

…but don’t threaten to quit

Speak confidently about why you deserve an increase in salary but don’t threaten to go to a competitor if your boss doesn’t agree. Any kind of ultimatum runs the risk of annoying your manager and, even if they agree to your demands, you may still have ended up harming your working relationship in the long-term.

Keeping all discussions amicable is the best approach. This way, if you don’t manage to immediately persuade your manager, you can at least agree a date for a future salary review with some potential targets to work towards. If your boss truly wants to keep you at the company, they will know that they can only say ‘no’ to you so many times.

Get your timing right

While what you say is vital, knowing when to say it is equally important – and we’re not just talking about the time of day. If your company has been downsizing or struggling in other ways recently, then they’re unlikely to want (or be able) to fork out more cash to keep their employees happy, so consider delaying or at least reducing your demands.

On the other hand, if you’ve recently completed a major project or received praise for your work, then now might be the ideal time to try your luck. Also, take into consideration your manager’s workload – if you know they never even have time to buy a sandwich on Mondays, maybe think about booking a meeting with them for a Tuesday afternoon.

Put a figure on it

It’s estimated that the total cost of replacing a staff member can run into the many thousands, so if you truly are an invaluable part of the team, it’s likely that your company will do what they can to keep you.

However, you need to be realistic. If you already earn a good wage and your work rarely stands out from that of the rest of the office, it’s unreasonable to expect a big pay rise. So do your research, look at what rival companies are paying for similar roles and work out a figure that you think is achievable. But don’t be greedy – as mentioned above, if your company has recently made redundancies or has had a weak year, then you might have to rethink your expectations.

If you’re successful…

Congratulations…but don’t celebrate quite yet! If you’re working at a large company then many people will be involved in any change to your basic salary, so keep an eye on the progress. If things seem to go quiet, just remind your boss by asking them if there’s anything that you need to sign.

If you’re unsuccessful… 

Try, try again? That’s up to you, but you now have three clear options – accept the decision and continue with your current salary, work hard and attempt to change your manager’s mind, or start the hunt for a new job.

The decision is yours, but if your morale and work ethic is suffering, then it could at least be worth considering your options and looking at which other travel jobs are currently out there. If you’re right about how much you’re worth, then surely someone will be willing to pay you it…