An important element of job satisfaction is being paid what you’re worth – but when it comes to negotiating a pay rise, people are often plagued by fear or self-doubt. Take full control of your career by overcoming this obstacle.
The economic climate, timing, and your current salary play key roles in whether or not you’ll get the pay rise you want. In our experience, the biggest mistake professionals make is not proving how their value surpasses their current pay packet.

Successfully securing a pay rise depends on two key factors – clearly quantifying your contribution to the company, and building a bulletproof case. Here are seven salary negotiation tips to help you prove you deserve more money and ask for a pay rise.

1. Upskill to get ahead

If you’ve completed a new qualification, finished some training, or are undertaking a new career development program, make sure your boss knows about it. You don’t get any prizes for being shy. Spell out how you plan to translate your new knowledge and skills into benefits for the business so they can clearly see the value you are adding.

2. Go above and beyond

Meeting your targets is great – but that’s what your current salary rewards you for. To prove you deserve more, you need to regularly surpass your KPIs – and keep a record of it. The keyword here is metrics – gather revenue figures, customer feedback, and growth statistics to show how your performance is reaping dividends for the business.

3. Research your worth

To find out what your role is currently worth, benchmark your existing rate of pay with average market rates. Visit the Michael Page salary calculator for an indication based on your sector, location and experience. Talk to your recruitment consultant and people in the industry for guidance and scan similar jobs on the internet for additional information on salary.

4. Quantify your value

To negotiate a pay rise from a strong position, you must clearly quantify the value you add to the company. The goal is to position yourself as a valuable high performer who would be difficult to replace. Note down any recent training or qualifications you have completed, as well as your key achievements and the measurable ways they have benefited the business. 

Did touching base with an old contact bring the business a hefty new account? Or maybe your campaign idea worked to multiply your customer base? If you’re proactive when it comes to accelerating the business, you should detail these initiatives to your employer and show them the tangible results. Include examples of responsibilities you have taken on outside your normal role and other ways in which you have demonstrated initiative.

5. Practise your pitch

Rehearsing a strong, convincing rationale for your request will increase your chances of success. To determine your negotiating position, use your research to determine your ideal figure (including benefits), as well as the minimum you would accept. Practise your pitch with someone you trust to gain feedback on whether you are presenting yourself in the best possible light.

6. Ask for what you want

At the pay rise meeting, remind your manager how long you have been in the position, and how your role has developed over time. Talk about your key achievements and the measurable benefit they have given the business.

Share your research findings as to the current industry rate for your role and experience. Emphasise that you do not want an answer on the spot; you appreciate they need time to think it over. End with a ‘thank you’ and your confidence that they will do their best for you.

7. Have a contingency plan

Getting a pay rise depends on many factors, including issues outside your manager’s control. A good contingency is to discuss alternatives that are linked to improving your performance, such as time off to study or internal training.

Presenting a well-considered non-pay alternative means you are more likely to walk away from the discussion with a positive outcome, even if you don’t get the pay rise you’re after.

There are many ways to work towards a pay rise. Your best chance of reaping monetary benefits is making your employer aware of your true value to the business. This could be by upskilling, going above and beyond your targets or bringing in new clients for the business.

If you’ve done all this and still aren’t seeing the salary you want, it may be time to start talking to a recruiter. Browse our latest jobs and unlock a world of professional opportunities just waiting for you to discover.

Are you earning what you're worth? Gain valuable salary insights with our latest Salary Guide and confidently plan your next career move.

Compare my salary

Salary Guide Australia

Discover your value with salary benchmarks across various industries.

Compare my salary

Practical advice to boost your income

Looking for a new role?

Quickly find jobs that match your CV with our Job Match tool.

Upload my CV
Join over 60,000 readers!
Receive free advice to help give you a competitive edge in your career.

Simplify your job search by downloading our new App

Download Our App Download Our App