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How to ask for a pay rise with no shame!

Top 6 tips to get you the number you want with grace.

Why is it that we find it so hard to talk about money? An absolute necessity in life, there’s still something that makes us feel dirty when we discuss it. But that mentality is holding us back, and stopping us get our worth. 

There seems to be a mentality that we should be lucky to do a job, and any pay we get should be received gratefully.


When you’re employed or contracted to do a job, you’re delivering real value to an organisation or business, and should be fairly rewarded for that.

So how do you ask for more money?

1. Find a number

First you need to get specific. It’s no good just marching into the boss’s office and asking for ‘more.’ Work out how much do you want, in real terms, ‘net’ (after tax) a month. Use a website like Salary Calculator to work out what the ‘gross’ amount you would need to ask for is. 

2. Understand yourself

Know your reasons. What are the reasons for you wanting a payrise? Be honest and clear with yourself about these reasons. Do you need an extra £5k to buy a flat? Do you think it would make you ‘happier’? Understanding yourself can make it easier to have the necessary conversations. Working 1 on 1 with a Coach can really help bring this area to life as the Coach can reflect your thinking back at you so you can ‘see’ and ‘hear’ it back.

3. Back it up

Do your research and find out the market rate salaries for the role you are doing. Make sure you compare like for like. If the salary you are after comes with a job that is a bit more stretching, what additional responsibilities would you need to consider taking on to reach this salary band? If you think you’re already doing those tasks, come armed with that information. Use a salary survey site like to get some clarity of what you are aiming for.

4. Show value

Demonstrate the value you are giving to the business, and identify opportunities for you to add value. If you are asking for an extra £5k/year how could you demonstrate you can add £10k/year of ‘value’? Remember value isn’t always measured in pounds and pence. Think outside the box. When you ask, say ‘I need £X because of X and I will do X to compensate the business for the raise.’ If you think you need a pay rise for your current role, explain how what you are doing is bringing value.

Appeal to your manager on a human level. Explain the positive impact it will have on your ability to work smarter and deliver more. Would it increase your wellbeing, reduce stress and make you a more engaged employee because you are not stressing about debt as much?

5. Negotiations 

Be prepared to be negotiated down. Build this into the amount you ask for, maybe add 10% to be prepared to be ‘knocked down’ from. Then you’ll still be in a good position. If you feel talking to a Coach might be right for you, Follow and Like the Ennis Coaching page for a chance to win a free 30 minute coaching session with an experienced Career Coach.

6. Be patient

Expect the process to take up to 3 months. You might have some hurdles to jump over, but stay committed and focussed on the end goal. Organisations are unable to act as fast as we like, but stay patient and consistent and it will happen.

Whether you believe you’re being unfairly paid right now, or just want some extra cash for a nicer lifestyle, there are ways to ask for a payrise in a confident and calm manner, in a way that benefits everyone. 

And as my Mother always says, “You don’t ask, you don’t get” so make sure you are not the reason you are not getting paid what you want.

Barry Ennis PCC

Barry Ennis PCC

Founder & Creative Leadership Coach

I am obsessed with communication. How we do it, why we do it, when it goes wrong and when it goes right. Humans and the spaces between them are what keep me alive. Coaching is Relationships. We are Relationships. I firmly believe that, by keeping things simple and intuitive is what makes for great work. My approach is to encourage self awareness from the people I work with. I foster an environment where positive, healthy, compassionate challenge is possible. ICF PCC accredited, student of Transactional Analysis and life long learner. Behind me is a 15 year career in TV Production. Back then, my big goal was to work for the biggest show in the world, so that's what I did. Big and spectacular was important to me then. I understand what it is to have a burning gut of ambition. I then realised in 2016 why I did a BA in Communications. I then added a Foundation to Counselling Diploma to my tool box, and the learning journey continues.

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