How To Ask For A Pay Rise In 2024

Having a conversation about a pay rise or promotion can be scary. However, the way you frame your request can make all the difference.

In this article, we’ll provide practical advice and example scripts in a “don’t say this… instead say this” format to help you approach these conversations with confidence and professionalism. After all, your career advancement is too important to leave to chance.

Preparation is Key

Before you even step into your manager’s office, preparation is crucial. Here’s how to get ready:


  • Don’t say: “I think I deserve more money.”
  • Instead say: “Based on industry standards and my performance metrics, I believe a salary adjustment is warranted.”

This shows that you’ve done your homework and have a clear rationale for your request.


  • Don’t say: “I work hard every day.”
  • Instead say: “I’ve consistently exceeded my targets and contributed to key projects that have driven company growth.”

Highlighting specific achievements rather than general hard work provides concrete evidence of your value to the company.

Timing and Setting

When and where you choose to have this conversation can significantly impact its success.

Choosing the Right Moment:

  • Don’t say: “I need to talk to you now.”
  • Instead say: “Could we schedule a meeting to discuss my role and future with the company?”

Requesting a scheduled meeting shows respect for your manager’s time and signals that you have something important to discuss.

Creating the Right Environment:

  • Don’t say: “Can we talk in the break room?”
  • Instead say: “I’d like to have a discussion in a private setting to ensure confidentiality.”

Ensuring privacy for your conversation shows professionalism and seriousness about the matter at hand.

Framing Your Request

How you frame your request can make a big difference. Be clear, specific, and focus on your contributions.

Being Specific:

  • Don’t say: “I want a raise.”
  • Instead say: “Given my recent achievements in [specific project], I’d like to discuss the possibility of a 10% increase in my salary.”

Specific requests tied to concrete achievements are more persuasive and easier for your manager to evaluate.

Highlighting Contributions:

  • Don’t say: “I’ve been here a long time.”
  • Instead say: “In the past year, I’ve led three major projects that increased our revenue by 15%.”

Focusing on measurable contributions rather than tenure highlights the value you bring to the company.

Handling Objections

Anticipate potential objections and be prepared with thoughtful responses.

Responding to Concerns:

  • Don’t say: “But I need it!”
  • Instead say: “I understand budgets are tight, but can we explore potential future adjustments or other benefits like additional leave?”

Showing understanding of company constraints while suggesting alternative benefits demonstrates flexibility and willingness to negotiate.

Offering Solutions:

  • Don’t say: “That’s not fair.”
  • Instead say: “I see your point. Could we set specific goals and a timeline to revisit this conversation in three months?”

Proposing a follow-up plan shows that you’re committed to earning the raise or promotion and willing to work towards clear objectives.

Following Up

The conversation doesn’t end after the meeting. Follow-up actions are crucial.

After the Conversation:

  • Don’t say: “So, what now?”
  • Instead say: “Thank you for considering my request. When would be a good time to follow up on this discussion?”

This shows appreciation and keeps the dialogue open, ensuring that the matter stays on your manager’s radar.

Documenting Your Achievements:

  • Don’t say: “I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.”
  • Instead say: “I’ll document my contributions and progress regularly to provide a clear picture of my performance.”

Keeping a record of your achievements helps build a strong case for future requests and ensures you’re ready for any follow-up discussions.

Additional Examples

To further aid you, here are more helpful examples of what to say and what not to say in different scenarios:

Discussing Professional Development:

  • Don’t say: “I want to do more interesting work.”
  • Instead say: “I’d like to take on more challenging projects to utilise my skills in [specific area] and contribute more effectively to the team.”

This demonstrates your desire for growth and willingness to add value.

Requesting Training Opportunities:

  • Don’t say: “I need to learn more skills.”
  • Instead say: “I believe attending [specific course or training] would enhance my ability to contribute to our projects, particularly in [specific area].”

Linking training to your ability to perform better shows a clear benefit to the company.

Highlighting Team Leadership:

  • Don’t say: “I want to be a team leader.”
  • Instead say: “I’ve successfully led [specific project or team] and improved our process efficiency by [specific percentage]. I’m interested in more formal leadership opportunities to further drive our team’s success.”

Providing evidence of past leadership success strengthens your case for a formal leadership role.

Discussing work quality:

  • Don’t say: “I always do a good job.”
  • Instead say: “My attention to detail has ensured our projects meet high-quality standards.”

This highlights specific actions and the positive outcome, making your contribution clear.

When talking about learning new skills:

  • Don’t say: “I’ve learned a lot.”
  • Instead say: “I’ve gained expertise in [specific skill] that has improved our workflow.”

Specifies the skill and its direct benefit to the team.

When mentioning reliability:

  • Don’t say: “I’m very reliable.”
  • Instead say: “My reliability has helped maintain our project deadlines.”

Shows a concrete result of your reliability.

When discussing multitasking:

  • Don’t say: “I can handle multiple tasks.”
  • Instead say: “I effectively manage multiple projects, ensuring each is completed on time.”

Provides evidence of your multitasking ability with specific results.

When mentioning initiative:

  • Don’t say: “I take initiative all the time.”
  • Instead say: “I initiated [specific project], which led to [specific positive outcome].”

Shows initiative through a specific example and its impact.

When addressing problem-solving:

  • Don’t say: “I solve problems every day.”
  • Instead say: “I identified and resolved [specific problem], preventing [specific issue].”

Highlights a specific problem you solved and its significance.

When discussing customer relations:

  • Don’t say: “Customers like me.”
  • Instead say: “My customer service improved client satisfaction by [specific percentage].”

Quantifies the positive impact on customer satisfaction.

When talking about efficiency:

  • Don’t say: “I make things more efficient.”
  • Instead say: “My improvements to [specific process] saved [specific amount] of time/money.”

Provides a measurable benefit of your efficiency efforts.

When addressing commitment:

  • Don’t say: “I’m committed to my work.”
  • Instead say: “My commitment is evident through my consistent delivery of high-quality work on time.”

Shows your commitment with specific evidence of its results.

When discussing adaptability:

  • Don’t say: “I adapt well to changes.”
  • Instead say: “I successfully adapted to [specific change], maintaining performance standards.”

Shows how you adapted to a specific change and its positive outcome.

When talking about teamwork:

  • Don’t say: “I’m a team player.”
  • Instead say: “I’ve effectively collaborated with my team to achieve [specific result].”

Demonstrates teamwork through a specific accomplishment.

When addressing leadership:

  • Don’t say: “I’m a good leader.”
  • Instead say: “I led my team on [specific project], resulting in [specific success].”

Provides a concrete example of your leadership and its success.

When discussing meeting goals:

  • Don’t say: “I meet my goals.”
  • Instead say: “I exceeded my targets by [specific percentage] in [specific time frame].”

Quantifies your success in meeting and exceeding goals.

When mentioning recognition:

  • Don’t say: “I should be recognised.”
  • Instead say: “My work on [specific project] was recognised by [specific award or feedback].”

Shows that your work has been acknowledged through specific recognition.

When talking about innovation:

  • Don’t say: “I’m innovative.”
  • Instead say: “My innovative solution for [specific issue] resulted in [specific benefit].”

Provides a clear example of innovation and its impact.

When addressing time management:

  • Don’t say: “I manage my time well.”
  • Instead say: “My time management skills helped me complete [specific task] ahead of schedule.”

Demonstrates effective time management with a specific result.

When discussing contributions to company goals:

  • Don’t say: “I contribute to company goals.”
  • Instead say: “My contributions to [specific project] directly supported our company’s objectives of [specific goal].”

Aligns your contributions with the company’s goals, showing direct impact.

When highlighting initiative:

  • Don’t say: “I often take initiative.”
  • Instead say: “I proactively took on [specific task], leading to [specific positive outcome].”

Shows proactive behaviour with a specific example and its benefits.

When discussing improvements:

  • Don’t say: “I make things better.”
  • Instead say: “My improvements to [specific area] increased efficiency by [specific percentage].”

Provides a measurable benefit of your improvements.

When addressing professional development:

  • Don’t say: “I want to grow in my career.”
  • Instead say: “I’m eager to take on more responsibilities and contribute to [specific area], which aligns with my career development goals.”

Shows a proactive approach to career growth with a clear direction.


Securing a pay rise or promotion requires careful preparation, strategic timing, and effective communication. By framing your request thoughtfully and handling objections professionally, you can significantly increase your chances of success. Remember, confidence and clarity are your best allies in these conversations.

Articles written by and for SkyHR for our blog and other sections of our main website,, by the central SkyHR team

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