How to ask for a raise

Asking for a raise…

is there anything that makes you want to curl up in a ball more than the thought of asking for more money?!

But, as they say “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” and with Westpac’s economists expecting annual wage growth to accelerate to 4.5 per cent by the end of 2023 it’s time for you to get in on that cash increase!

Whether its sooner or later, here’s how to ask for a raise and the Do’s and Don’ts to get you through effectively.



  • Don’t joke about your low salary. This demonstrates two things to your manager; you aren’t prepared to be professional and that you have no idea how business decisions are made.
  • Don’t explain why you need the money. Unfortunately, your living costs and lifestyle are not your managers responsibility and it may lead them to think that you have poor money management skills, especially if you are known to buy a coffee and lunch everyday! If you also add to the conversation that the cost of living has gone up… well, that usually means the cost of business has gone up too. Asking for a raise should be based on your performance and what they are buying with that extra money, so focus on that.
  • Don’t compare your salary to others. It might be tempting, but the person you have salary knowledge on may have had an excellent negotiation in their interview – the company won’t give out equal money to others to make everything fair. Your boss will just be irritated and likely want to know how you found it out, so you’ll potentially drag that colleague into the mess. Use the knowledge to your advantage, knowing they are willing to pay higher but don’t get specific.
  • Don’t declare an ultimatum. Unless you’re really prepared to walk AND you have already been made another offer you are keen on… don’t threaten to leave as it will put your manager on the defence instantly.



  • Do bring the data. Your boss is going to ask you why you want a pay rise, so you need to have a good answer. Arm yourself with your recent accomplishments and achievements. Prepare to bring up how you have added value to the business and the ways in which you are performing above and beyond your original job description. 

  • Do know your company policies. Do your research! Know how your company manages pay rises, whether this is in conjunction with quarterly or yearly reviews or if there are procedures or criteria for it. More often than not, managers are behind on reviews and its actually your job to insist on it. Starting with a review is a great way to enter into negotiations.
  • Do know your worth. Research your industry standards of pay expectations, take into consideration your skillset and soft skills (people skills, emotional intelligence etc.) and what else you bring to the company. Also be aware of what other companies do, sometimes online information isn’t that accurate. Confidentially speak to others in the industry (not others your own company is good practice), and sound out a ballpark figure of what they may be on.
  • Do keep your chin up. If you are declined the raise, do not be discouraged. Perhaps the business finances aren’t ready for it, or you weren’t able to demonstrate your value first time around. Ask your manager if they need any further supporting information, and what you can do to ensure a raise next review. Put an action plan in place for yourself and the company with tangible goals and outcomes.

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