How to negotiate a pay rise

Most of us feel like we deserve a salary rise from time to time. It isn’t always the easiest conversation to have with your boss, though. This guide offers a few points of consideration.



It’s often said that the fastest way to increase your salary is to change jobs. In many ways that’s true, as it’s normal to expect a higher wage when moving companies.

But not all dads are in a position where it’s easy or appealing to find a new job. Meanwhile, the additional costs of having children can certainly put a squeeze on your income – whether its childcare fees, after-school clubs or generally feeding the additional mouths in the family.

So, a lot of fathers set out to request a rise… but not all are successful. Here’s a guide to help give you the best possible chances of success.


This is not a conversation you can just waltz into on a whim. You’re likely to catch your manager off guard, and even if they have some notice, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to answer the question on the spot. Your best bet is to create a strong argument in your favour. Look at online salary checkers to get a sense of whether your pay is fair. Also look at job adverts in your local area. If there’s a big difference, that will strengthen your position.

Know your value

Next, make sure you have a clear message about your value to the organisation. They will have hired you for a reason, so build on that and talk (in specifics) about how your expertise and knowledge has grown since you joined the team. Do you have specialist skills that others don’t? Your objective here is to demonstrate how your experience goes beyond what’s ‘normal’ for your role.

If you can quantify your value, that’s even better… for example; “The social media strategy I created drove £70,000 in new sales.” Or “My idea to swap print cartridge suppliers has saved us £20,000 a year.”

Time it right

Your request won’t be successful if you made a major mistake in the preceding days or weeks, or there have been any issues with your performance.

On the other hand, if a colleague has recently left or given notice, you’re already in a stronger position – as the manager won’t want to lose a second person. Plus, if you’ve just landed a successful project or new client, that will add weight to your proposal.

Refer to your objectives

In general, it’s a great idea to get commitment from your manager about your development needs. This can become a useful negotiation tool. For example, your manager told you at a previous appraisal that you needed to improve your leadership skills. You have since completed a course, found a mentor and can give examples of how you have implemented what you’ve learned. This is a clear indication that you have delivered on what was required.

Know the figure

It’s important to have a figure in mind. Your manager will probably ask you what salary you’re looking for, and you need to know your target pay.

There’s little point in linking it back to your living costs. What you need to cover a new mortgage or childcare costs isn’t relevant to your employer. You need to keep the focus on how you benefit them.

Next steps

You should also think about how you’ll respond to the outcome. If you get the rise, you should show your appreciation and seek ways to shine in the following weeks and months so that your employer feels the investment in you was worthwhile.

If your request is rejected, accept the news calmly. It’s fine to ask for the reasons behind the decision, but don’t react emotionally. If possible, ask if you can work together on a plan that will help you progress to a salary rise in the future.

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