How Do You Negotiate a Pay Rise?

If the thought of discussing your salary with your boss sends shivers down your spine, you’re not alone. It can be up there with the most awkward / tense of all conversations. Still, it shouldn’t deter you from addressing things if you feel like you’re seriously being underpaid and undervalued.

We called in our expert panel of career coaches to spill the beans on how best to broach the subject. Check out their top tip on negotiating a higher salary:

Aimee Bateman


“Firstly, know what you want before you start. You don’t want to negotiate with yourself. Secondly, expect a ‘no’. Understand how to deal with rejection and position yourself in a way to take the negative answer professionally. Have answers prepared beforehand to any objections you may face. If you’re prepared, you’re confident; so list out all your achievements. Also, if it is a ‘no’ then structure your argument in a way that creates a clear path to progressing next time. For instance, you could say ‘if I achieve X within 3 months, will it help show you how I am adding value?'”

@Aimee_Bateman is the CEO & founder of

Rebecca Fraser


“Start with researching what the market is paying for existing roles. Then collect evidence on your successes and achievements, what you have delivered against your KPI’s and also what you have achieved beyond your role expectations. Use this evidence to analyse how much you have delivered and consider this against the market rate expectations for your role. The evidence and research will provide you a solid foundation to negotiate and will take the emotion out of such a discussion. However, remember that for many organisations budget negotiations are a set process so ensure you understand this process first. “

@RebeccaFraserCo is a career coach

Jon Gregory


“Look elsewhere and then walk. Only ever negotiate from strength. NEVER accept counter-offers to stay unless they also include a promotion worth having. In the latter case, stay, even if the money is the same. If your current company doesn’t have the brains to see your value, they’re not worth your time, since you’re paying with your life. Apart from the money, a new job gives you a step up and strongly extends your experience, and therefore your future value. Looks like a win-win to me.”

@LetsFireWalk (aka Jon) is a job hunt coach at

Farhan Raja


“Get an alternative job offer with a higher pay. Present it to your boss. State that you want to stay in the company however the additional money from the other company will have a big impact on your personal life. i.e. help pay the bills, take the family on holiday etc. If they really want to keep you, they’ll come back with a counter offer. If they don’t, you know that they see you as someone who is replaceable and it’s time to move on to a company that will value you more.”

@interviewology (aka Farhan) is the founder, career & communications coach at

John Feldmann


“Demonstrate your value. An employer won’t give you a raise because you think you deserve one, or because you’ve worked at the company for years. They want to see how you’ve contributed to the bottom line. If you can provide concrete numbers, sales figures, dollar amounts and/or project results, your manager will see how invaluable your work is to the company and pay you accordingly.”

John Feldmann is writer, blogger and content developer for Insperity Recruiting Services

James Nathan



“Be worth what you think you are. Many consultants believe they deserve a pay rise, but in reality we are only really worth what we deliver for our employers. If you genuinely believe you are worth more, then make sure you are right before you ask. Make yourself truly valuable and you will be rewarded. Turning up every day, and doing the bear minimum doesn’t make you worth anymore, no matter how long you have been with a business. “

@JamesNathan is the Managing Director at The James Nathan Experience

Liz Sebag-Montefiore


“You have to justify your claim, and sell your skills and accomplishments. Think about what value you’ve added to the role already and where you’ve over-performed or taken on extra responsibilities and use that to justify your request. Get your timing right and be clear about your reasoning. Then present a business case outlining your achievements or successful projects using quantifiable data, show your track record and results that demonstrate your worth. Be clear with yourself on what you deserve and where you are prepared to settle and then prepare to negotiate.”

@LizSM10Eighty is a career coach at 10Eighty

Alison Cardy


“Do it! You never know what is available unless you ask. The conversation around asking for a raise is going to feel awkward and uncomfortable, but push through that momentary discomfort to get the potential reward of a raise. Also remember to ask for a bit more than you’re actually looking for, so that you have a better chance of getting what you really want.”

@CardyCareers is a career coach and author of Career Grease: How to Get Unstuck and Pivot Your Career

Lysha Holmes


“Ask for an appraisal if there is not one booked already. Understand what the requirements are to achieve the pay rise and what the benchmarks arte to achieve that. Agree these objectives. Once these have been achieved, you are then in the best position to negotiate. Avoid using another job offer as a reason to get a higher pay! “

@LyshaHolmes is the owner of Qui Recruitment Ltd

Caroline Stokes


“Before you go in to ‘battle’, do a quick 360 to understand what you’ve accomplished, how you’ve over delivered, what your areas of development are – and this is the important bit – in line with the company and various KPI’s. You’ll do yourself a disservice if you cannot articulate your value and contribution well. However, even with the most eloquent and persuasive presentation of facts, be prepared for a ‘no’ if company performance and your performance means pay increases are on hold for the year.”

@theforwardco (aka Caroline) is an executive headhunter & coach at FORWARD

By Phoebe Spinks

Account Executive at Link Humans, download our 12 Essentials of Employer Branding eBook now.