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How to Ask for a Salary Review and How to Prepare Yourself for One

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 18 Mar 2022

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Talking about money at work can be difficult for some people, whether it’s before an interview or you’re wanting a salary review, money is something people just don’t like to talk about. But why? We are all at work for a reason and for some, money is a big reason. If it wasn’t, would many of us really work?

Employers need to provide us with what we are worth, in order for us to do a job. If you think it’s time for a pay rise, it’s best to talk to your line manager. Being open and honest about money at work can be really liberating. Even the thought of it can be scary at first, but we have some tips on how to ask for a salary review and how to prepare for one.

Why ask for a salary review?

There is no single reason why you should ask for a salary review and they will be different for everyone but here are just a few:

  1. Always going above and beyond in the workplace
  2. Taking time to improve your skills and develop as a professional
  3. Always reliable at work
  4. You have more workload than when you started the job
  5. You feel your salary doesn’t reflect the change in economy
  6. Your role and skills have increased in value in the employment market

These are just a few of the reasons you may ask for a salary review and they are all as valid as each other. Employers should respect your views and give you the opportunity to explain your opinions and ask for your raise. So, when is the best time to ask for one?

When is the best time to ask for a salary review?

There may never really be a best time to ask for a salary review. Many people would say before the yearly budgets have been set and this differs depending on your company. However, where this may be a good point, I think anytime that suits you is the best time to talk to your manager about this. They might not be able to promise you anything, or make any sudden changes, purely because things like this have to go through HR as well, but just letting them know how you feel and what you are expecting is enough to get the ball rolling. Sometimes, all we need to feel better about our work, is to get things like this off of our chest.

How to ask for one?

Again, there is not a right or wrong way. However, you should be prepared. You need to have valid points to put forward when asking for a pay rise, they are unlikely to just give it to you. So be sure, that you have your points, you understand them, and you have evidence to back up your claims.

Secondly, if you’re wary of asking your line manager about this, then there is a problem with them and not you. You shouldn’t be nervous and should just schedule it like any other meeting. Give them a heads up about what you want to discuss but should continue as normal until then.

If you don’t want to discuss it with them, for any reason, you can also always schedule a meeting with HR. Ensure that you are being heard.

How do you prepare for it?

Preparation is important in every aspect of work, but when you are asking someone for a pay rise, you need to be able to prove to them that you are worthy of it. Whatever your reason, firstly, you need to believe in it. You need to be motivated by your reasoning to ensure that you are going into that meeting head strong and with some realisation that you deserve it.

You want to back up your claims. So, if you say you’ve been exceeding goals, how have you been doing this? Do you have evidence? KPI information? Stats? Anything to be able to show them and persuade them that you are doing everything you can in the workplace. If your point is that your workload is bigger, get your original job description and add all of your new responsibilities to it. Always provide proof, so they are aware.

If you want to prepare a presentation, you can, but it’s not exactly necessary. Just provide documents with all the information on. This way, they have something to take away with them and you can also send these documents to HR as proof of conversation.

There isn’t one way to prepare, if you feel more comfortable going in there and winging it, do that.

What do you do after the discussion?

Always ensure that you are on the same page when you leave the meeting. You want to walk away knowing exactly what they intend on doing about this situation. They might not be able to promise anything exact or even anytime soon, but just know what they are going to do about it in the meantime.

Make sure you have notes and keep up the conversation. Nothing is done instantly, things like this have to be discussed further, apply to the budget and other reasons may slow down the process. But do be sure that there is something being done about it. Keep on top of things and don’t forget about it.

If it is agreed that nothing can be done, then you make a decision that may help you later. Is it time to find a new role? Or do you just wait for your next opportunity for another discussion? Do whatever is best for you in the long-run, not just your employer.