How to Confidently Ask for a Pay Rise (and make sure you get it)

Knowing how to ask for a pay rise can help you increase your earning potential and prove your value as an employee.

If you’ve been in the same role for a while, or you’ve taken on more responsibilities, then you might feel as though this isn’t reflected in your current salary.

Knowing how much people in your industry earn is also a great benchmark, as this tells you how you compare to other professionals.

We’ve covered this and more in our salary survey so make sure you check it out to see if you’re being underpaid by your employer. If you’re performing the same job role as others in your industry, but not being paid fairly, then that’s even more reason to ask for a pay rise.

However, knowing how to ask and preparing your case beforehand can help ensure your request is successful.

And that’s exactly what this post is all about. As recruitment experts, we understand the perspective of both employees and employers which gives us insight into what both parties want and expect.

So, let’s get started.

Why Is it Important to Know How to Ask for a Pay Rise?

Knowing how to ask for a pay rise is important for two reasons:

  1. It makes you feel more confident when making the request
  2. It increases the likelihood of you actually getting the pay rise

Lots of professionals want to earn more money but don’t know how to approach it.

Asking for a pay rise can feel a little awkward, but it’s important that your salary reflects your current position.

There are many reasons why you should ask for a pay rise, including:

  • You are consistently exceeding expectations
  • Your role has expanded
  • You have completed extra training/ gained further accreditation
  • You have more experience than when you received your last pay increase
  • You believe your salary does not meet industry standards

There might be other reasons why you think you deserve a raise such as being with the company a long time, or feeling that you go above and beyond your job description.

Whatever the reason, knowing how to make your case is crucial which leads us onto our next section: how to ask for a pay rise.

woman in orange shirt making a list

How to Ask for a Pay Rise Step-by-Step Guide

We’re taking you through the process of how to ask for a pay rise so you know what steps to follow before making the request.

And it all starts with timing.

Choose the right time

Knowing when to ask is key as you want your manager to be receptive and to take your request seriously.

There are several things to consider when it comes to choosing your timing, such as:

  • The financial state of the company – If your company is going through a period of expansion by hiring new employees and winning new clients, then now is probably a good time to ask. These are all indicators that your company is doing well and is profitable.
  • The time of year – if you have a quarterly performance review, or a monthly 1-to-1, then these are great opportunities to discuss your salary and to ask for your pay rise.
  • Completed work/ achievements – if you’ve recently worked on an important project that had positive results, then this is the perfect time to reinforce your value and ask for a raise.

Whilst you can’t always control these factors, being more selective about when you ask can increase your chances of being successful.

Research the market

As mentioned in the intro, knowing how much other professionals in your industry are earning is a good benchmark.

This lets you see whether what you’re earning is competitive or if you’re being undervalued.

Whilst there might be some geographic differences (for example, between the same job roles in different locations) doing your research gives you a solid idea of your earning potential.

Once you have this information, you can present it to your boss and show them the difference between your salary and the industry average.

If you’re curious about different salaries and want to find out if what you’re earning is competitive, then check out our salary survey. This comprehensive report lets you see how your salary measures up compared to others in the industry to make sure you’re receiving a fair and accurate wage.

Salary Benchmarking

Our annual Salary, Rewards and Attitudes survey is open. Take part and help us help you get the latest salary benchmarking information in the new year.

Arrange a meeting with your manager

Once you’ve done your research and have your facts and figures, it’s time to schedule a meeting with your manager.

Rather than framing this as a meeting to discuss your salary, phrase this more generally in terms of wanting to discuss your performance.

Sending an email such as the one below gives your manager an idea of what needs to be covered, without pre-empting their response beforehand.

Example email:


I would like to meet with you on Thursday to discuss my performance moving forward. Does 1pm work with your schedule?


This will also make you feel more relaxed going into the meeting as you’ve already given an indication of what you want to discuss.

man in white jumper using calculator

Consider your approach

Rather than preparing a full script, make a list of key bullet points that prove why you deserve an increase in your salary.

For example, have you discovered that most professionals performing your role earn 10% more?

Information like this lets your manager understand how you’ve arrived at your ideal salary and why you’re looking to boost your earnings.

You also need to sell your strengths by explaining what value you bring to the company.

An example of a preparation script could be:

‘Thank you for meeting with me today. Whilst I enjoy my role and the part I play in the company, I would like to progress further.

As I work towards my career goals, I would like to discuss my current salary and performance.

Since working here, I’ve gained several accreditations including becoming a Chartered Surveyor. This has helped me expand my skill set significantly, which is reflected in my performance.

I have successfully mentored and trained other on-site members off staff and delivered projects to a high standard.

After researching other salaries across the market, I would like a salary increase of 10%. Does this sound appropriate to you?’

This approach leaves no room for ambiguity, and tells your employer how much you would like to earn, and why. Having figures to backup your request is important as these are proof that you’re excelling in your role.

Examples of your work

When asking for a pay rise, you might want to present some examples of your work.

For example, if you work as a Marketing Manager in construction and a particular campaign helped secure a new client, then make this loud and clear.

Explain what value this brought the company and what your involvement was so that your boss understands how you contributed to the win.

Hiring and training new staff is expensive, so if your employer wants to keep you after seeing what you can earn elsewhere, they’re more likely to reconsider your pay.

If they value what you do and understand that you’re considering switching roles, then they should accept your salary request.

Including stats and figures where relevant is key, as these numbers prove that you’re helping the company to grow – and that you’re a real asset.

If this campaign boosted profitability by 20%, then say that.

If this campaign helped secure new £5m worth of new investment then say that.

Now is not the time to sell yourself short, and you’ll never progress from Marketing Manager to the C-suite if you can’t confidently prove your value.

Thank them for their time

Whether they agreed to your pay rise or not, you don’t want to leave the conversation on a bad note.

Thank your manager for their time and for listening to your reasons.

Depending on the company, you might not get an immediate response to your pay request immediately so allow a few days for your boss to come back to you.

If you plan to continue working at the company regardless of the outcome, you want to maintain a healthy working relationship.

Be prepared to consider alternatives

If your manager declines your pay rise, then you have two options:

  1. To continue working in your role but ask how you can progress in the future
  2. To look for another job role that meets your salary expectations

In some cases, your manager may offer you a pay rise – but not the one you requested.

For instance, if you asked for a 10% increase, they might only offer you 7%, which is why it’s always best to aim higher in case they negotiate.

In this scenario, ask what more you can do to achieve your full earning potential so you know exactly what you’re working towards.

If you can’t agree on a pay increase that satisfies both you and your employer, it might be time to look for another job.

There are a whole range of roles in real estate – it’s about identifying your interests, your experience, and your skill set.

At Macdonald & Company, we’ve been pairing the right candidates to the right job roles since 1994. We know the real estate sector better than anyone, and our team of specialists find the right match for both employees and employers alike.

Take a look at our full list of job roles filtered by location, here.

woman in whit shirt handing person piece of paper

Asking for a Pay Rise vs Switching Roles: Which is Right for You?

When contemplating the next step in your career, you can either ask for a pay rise or switch roles.

Both of these routes have their advantages, so you need to weigh up whether you can achieve what you want in your current place of work.

If pay is the only factor, then knowing how to ask for a pay rise (and following the steps in this blog) should be your first port of call.

However, lots of other factors contribute to people leaving a job such as:

  • 50% of people value work-life balance
  • 33% of people want to feel appreciated by colleagues
  • 44% of people value flexibility

This information and more, can be found in our salary survey which allows you to dig deep into what employees really look for in their job.

If these factors can’t be satisfied in your current position, then it’s time to make the switch.

We’ve covered everything you need to know about making this transition in our post ‘switching roles in real estate’, so give it a read to decide which route is right for you.

How to Confidently Ask for a Pay Rise (and make sure you get it)

If you feel you deserve more money in your current post, then knowing how to ask for a pay rise is crucial.

Conducting your research, collating examples, and making a plan is key to ensuring you secure the right salary that is reflective of your position.

To retain good talent, companies must offer competitive salaries that are in-keeping with inflation and industry trends.

The cost of hiring new staff is very expensive, so holding onto those employees who bring real value is absolutely essential for business growth.

After reading this post, you should know how to approach the conversation to make sure you get the right pay without having to move elsewhere. However, if the opportunity to make more money in your current role is not available, then it’s time to make the switch.

At Macdonald & Company, our team of real estate specialists work directly with you to help you secure the right job. Our global connections in this sector enables us to partner the right candidate with the right employer so that you can reach your full career potential.

Take a look at our list of jobs here to find your next opportunity.

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