Asking for a pay increase; The Dos and Don’ts

Avoid these common pitfalls to ensure that you get the pay increase that you deserve!

Talking about money can make us feel incredibly awkward. It’s one of the reasons that asking for a pay rise can be so difficult. For many of us, it’s not in our nature to “big ourselves up” and ask for that pay rise even if we do deserve it! With that in mind, we have some tips for you that will make asking just that little bit easier.


  • Ask yourself what you’ve accomplished to deserve this pay rise

    Failure to prepare means preparing to fail. Outlining a list of your achievements in the past 12 months will give you a good foundation for your argument. If you haven’t consistently met or overachieved on your set objectives, you may need to consider parking the pay rise conversation.

  • Your research

    Have a look at the average salary of other people in your position. This will ensure that you don’t ask for too much or look greedy.

  • Ask for more than you expect

    This might seem slightly contradictory to the previous point, but it’s important to set your expectations. If the average salary in your position is €38,000 then there’s no harm in asking for €40,000. The worst your manager can say is no.

  • Practice, practice, practice

    Before your review or meeting, make sure that you’ve practised what you’re going to say. It doesn’t need to be learnt off word-for-word but having a few pointers lined up will help settle the nerves when asking!



  • Compare yourself to colleagues

    Stay on topic. What your colleague earns has nothing to do with what you earn and can be seen as unprofessional if brought up when negotiating a pay rise for yourself.

  • Ask via email

    It seems obvious but do not ask for a pay rise through email. It will come across as unprofessional as these conversations are best had in person or video call.

  • Pick a busy time

    Ideally, your manager should be the one to arrange the meeting but if it falls to you, pick a time when they’re not busy. Right before a big meeting, pitch or busy periods are times to be avoided!

  • Focus on why you need a pay rise

    The conversation should be focused on proving through your work record that you deserve the pay rise. Bringing in outside factors such as your financial situation can be seen as emotional blackmail. Stick to your skills and achievements. 


Remember, it’s up to you to make the case for yourself so don’t be afraid to remind your manager of your achievements. Good luck!