How to Get a Pay Rise

two business people shaking hands, representing a successful meeting about pay

How to get a pay rise is one of the more perennial problems, not just ‘business’ but for people in general. So many people are afraid to ask for their worth or even broach the topic with an employer. It can be a sticky situation and a lot of the time confidence can come into it, too. But my way of looking at how to get a pay rise is that if you know you’re working hard for the business and are bringing value to the company, it’s a lot easier to ask for what it is you know you really deserve.

two women sitting together at a desk discussing how to get a pay rise - a boss and employee in discussion

So, what’s the easiest way to pump up your salary? And, from my experience, the best way…


Be Aware of What it’s Like for Your Boss

My first piece of advice in this area would be to be really conscious of the business that you’re working in. So many employees think that their employers are making more money than they actually are. And that can be really, really frustrating for employers.

picture of a man sitting at a desk with a background of a city behind him through the window


Be Aware of the Company

Be interested in the company, the company’s overall health and what it takes to run it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities your boss and the business you work for are looking at. Your boss will appreciate the interest and it will give you a better appreciating of the company as a whole.

a picture of an office - representing an employee being aware of the company and it's challenges and opportunity in asking for a pay rise

The consciousness of employees in terms of knowing the business as a whole is something that you really, really appreciate from an employer’s perspective.

Take time to understand the organisation as a whole. Where it makes its money, where it loses money, where costs lie, and where the real opportunities for growth are. There is a myriad of things to understand here, so take your time to understand it properly. And not solely for the interest of gaining more money for yourself. If you have a real passion for your business, your passion for improving it will come naturally.



two business women in discussion at a table with notes in front of them

In all honestly, my massive piece of advice in this area would be that if you are doing the same job, regardless of how long you’re there for – I don’t think that time is the best way to push for a pay rise.

I.e. “Boss, I’ve been doing this job for a year and have been completing the tasks your employed me to do for a year now – so can I get a pay rise?”

I think it’s a really weak position to negotiate from.


Increasing Your Productivity

woman sitting at a desk doing creative solutions such as illustration

It is slightly different I think that if you’re doing a ‘set’ job i.e. content creation or processing etc for a certain amount of time. If you’ve increased productivity over that period of time, I do think you can say to your boss “Ok, I’ve been here a year now. When it started it took me 2 hours to do this piece of work. Now, I do it in half an hour. Effectively, I’ve increased productivity four-fold but my pay has stayed the same.”

That is grounds for negotiating a pay rise rather than just the ‘time’ alone piece. And is a really good angle to come from for both parties.


Take an Active Role 

man working on something - a construction hat beside him representing the business he is in

The very best angle I would say anyone can come in from is to look at the organisation that you’re in and take the initiative to be a bit enterprising. Look at the business through the lens of the boss. How can you improve things here? Two sets of eyes are better than one and you might very well see opportunity that the boss for whatever reason, might have missed. We all look at things differently, so coming together for the same objective can really boost not just profit, but morale, too.

There are a couple of ways you can do this:



picture of rolled up bank notes - talking about making savings when it comes to asking for a pay rise

One example is to look for an area where you can cut costs. There is no one better positioned in an organisation than those in the organisation itself to see where savings can be made.

So, you might talk to your boss and say; “I’ve examined things for the last few months with an eye to save the business money. And I think there is an opportunity in x area to cut this outgoing by 50%. And over the course of this year, that’s going to save this business €25,000. I’d be more than happy to oversee the implementation of this. And, if you take my recommendation – can I take 20% of the savings?”

picture of a sign in a shop window saying "thank you for shopping local"

As an entrepreneur myself, I think that’s completely fine.

It’s a great way to make money in an organisation, where nobody will take an issue with it. And people are going to appreciate you all the more for it.

Again, bosses are going to actively want an enterprising team and people who think outside the box and in the interest of the company. It increases your value as an employee. It all about the value you bring to the company.



picture of business stock of fabric

The second place which can put you in a better position of pay negotiation is looking for opportunities for growth.

Again, when you are bang in the middle of an organisation, no one is better positioned to spot those opportunities and areas in which you can develop the business than you. So take advantage of that. A lot of people don’t look with that sort of eye, so you’re increasing your value to the company.

a woman sitting at a desk presenting ideas from a laptop and printed notes

This means being able to see where the business could easily diversify or expand, looking at an idea and seeing the opportunity for growth into a new space. For example “Boss, I’m passionate about the business and want to see it do well. So, I’ve looked at this idea for growth. This is what would be needed to do execute this idea in terms of resources and I’ve evaluated the potential gain, which is…”

man sitting at desk in business suit at laptopp

So sit down with your employer and present to them an idea and a short plan, i.e; “If we do this, it will cost the business €25,000 over the year but the opportunity in revenue is €250,000, giving a net profit of around €225,000.”

When you do this, I think you’re in a really nice position to say “Look, perhaps I can expand into running this, or perhaps you might, but I’d love to take a cut from that.”


Show Your Value 

two women at whiteboard smiling, working together, wearing business attire

Essentially, my lesson here is that if you want your income to be of more monetary value, I think you need to show your entrepreneurial value.

When you show entrepreneurship yourself and put yourself in the position of interest in the business and the shoes of your employer, they will appreciate you all the more.

Again bringing these ideas to your boss, I think that’s an opportunity that an employer can’t really turn down.

two business people shaking hands, representing a successful meeting about pay

Are you struggling with how to go about asking for a pay rise? If what you’ve read here sounds like something I can help you with, reach out to me and let’s see how we can work together, to make it work for you.