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We all know how it feels to be overworked and underpaid, to feel you are paid a pittance in comparison to what you are worth. If the feelings of frustration are riding high, perhaps it’s time steel your nerves and ask your boss for that elusive pay raise. How to do it?

If you believe the best way is to throw yourself in front of the boss’s inbox and expect him to listen, that is probably not the best way to go about things, and you may well find yourself in hot water as opposed to a warm reception.

There are, however, several simple tricks to try to encourage the boss to look at it from your point of view.

Could you convince yourself?

Instead of offering the slightly childish response of “Because I do!” when asked why you deserve a raise in pay, create something a little more concrete. The first thing you need to do is to have a look at your job description. By demonstrating that you consistently work above and beyond what is expected of you, you will, in turn, one would hope, be rewarded for your efforts. Think about what you may have brought to the business in other ways, for example, have you looked at and renewed the policies, did you introduce a far more productive filing system which saves your colleagues hours of trawling the records. All of these things are great examples of how you have improved the workflow and productivity of the business.If you can’t find examples of such contributions, ask yourself, would YOU give someone like you a raise and why?

Work harder

It might sound simple, but if after thinking about it long and hard, the only good reason you can come up is that you’d really like a raise, then you should probably wait. Now would be an excellent time to knuckle down or perhaps learn while you earn. Studying for a distance MBA or vocational qualifications means you can be gaining those rise busting skills while still secure in the current role. With further education under your belt and letters after your name, your quest for a more substantial pay packet is significantly improved. That way, in six months or a year’s time you can go back to your paymaster with a more legitimate case.


What are you worth?

It is well worth doing your research when it comes to establishing the market value of what you earn and the job you do. Many job sites offer resume or experience comparisons to indicate rates of pay for the type of business and specific roles therein Remember though, these will give a broad overview, and shouldn’t be expected to follow to the letter. You may be more or less qualified than the site salary survey suggests for the role involved.

Get it Write

Make sure before you set the meeting date, write everything down. This will ensure you don’t’ forget anything significant, you can reference the comparisons you have made, and finally, it will provide you don’t get too flustered. These meetings can be quite intimidating so go in fully armed. Offer this written information to your boss before the meeting taking place and make sure your notes are typed up, to make sense to someone else. Remember, if they have to convince someone else that you deserve extra money, make it apparent from the offset with your professionalism.

Right on Time

The timing of the meeting is vital. You want to arrange it, so the boss is listening, and their mind is not fuzzy with thoughts of a Monday morning meeting or submitting their weekly figures to their hierarchy that afternoon. A recent survey indicated Wednesday is the ideal day on which your employer will be willing and prepared to hear out your justification.


Be prepared, be patient and good luck!