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Talking about money is nearly always awkward, but it can be especially challenging when you’re asking for a pay rise.  But if you think you’re worth more and like your job, there’s really no other choice than to pluck up the courage and ask.

Thankfully there’s some simple steps you can take to make the conversation easier and to increase your chances of getting the money you want. Here’s our top tips to help you prepare for, and succeed in, your next pay negotiation.


Get familiar with the market rate for your role

It’s hard to argue with good research and solid logic. So, before talking to your manager about your pay, get a clear picture of what you’re worth by understanding the market rate. Here’s how:

  • Check out our Newcastle Salary Guide to find out the salary range for your position.
  • To understand where in the range you sit and where you think you should be use job boards like SEEK or Indeed to benchmark your role against other similar advertised positions. Compare the responsibilities and essential criteria of these roles against yours to get a feel for the level of each position in relation to the salary.
  • Reach out to recruiters in your industry. They’ll have a good handle on the level of remuneration for your role based on your experience, industry, and the market demand.
  • Collect and document this information and use examples when you present your case to your manager to add credibility.


Review your performance against your KPIs

Whether you’re asking for a raise through a formal performance review process or outside of that, you should take time to reflect on your achievements and salary against the performance expectations for your position.

Look through your KPIs or if you don’t have performance indicators review your PD. Document your achievements against each element. You should look to draw out what you actually did, not what was achieved as a team. Highlight your results and add metrics where possible to build a strong case.


Develop your pitch and anticipate questions

Once you’ve worked out what you feel you should be paid and documented your reasons, work your notes into a logical and compelling pitch. Develop dot points that you can refer to in the meeting with your boss.

You should also think about the possible questions your manager could ask you. The obvious ones are, “why do you deserve a pay rise over others in the team”, or “can you give me some examples where you’ve performed above the expectation levels of your role?”.

Your manager may also ask if there are other ways you can be rewarded such as training and development or flexible work arrangements so consider if these options are of interest to you.

Show commitment and loyalty

It’s tempting to use scare tactics when asking for a pay rise like threatening that you’ll quit if you don’t get the money you want. Although this approach may be effective for some, I’d suggest you focus on building trust in the relationship with your manager rather than delivering an ultimatum.

You want your manager to feel like you’re worth the investment, committed to the company and a valuable team member. So, let them know that you want to stay with the company, achieve great things and make them look like a legend – and hopefully one day work at their level.

Don’t forget your manager will often need to seek approval from above, so you want to give them plenty of ammo, and darn good reasons to go into bat for you.


Find the right time to ask

Finally, your timing is critical in asking for a salary increase. Here’s a few things to consider.

  • Think about other factors that are affecting the business. Obviously, during a downturn, companies are looking to cut costs and increase efficiency, so you may be met with disappointment. On the flip side when the company is performing well, your manager will be more receptive to increasing staff salaries.
  • A good time to ask is when you’ve just scored some wins in your role, when you’ve hit your targets, saved the company money or launched a successful campaign.
  • Asking for a pay rise as part of your performance review or during a budgeting process also increases your chances as your boss is probably drafting next year’s salary budget.
  • A sneaky time to ask is when another team member resigns, especially if they’re a star performer. This adds a bit of pressure as your manager has just lost one good employee and won’t want to lose you too.


If your considering asking for a rise and want some advice, give me a call on 0411 043 537 or email All discussions are treated confidentially.

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