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How to Get the Pay Rise You Deserve

Posted on May 2019

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​No-one likes to talk about pay but are you missing out on a hard-earned raise? The average salary in the financial sector has increased by 9.3% over the last decade. Break the taboo and secure the pay rise you deserve. Start by asking.

Know your worth

Be prepared. Don't let impostor syndrome get the better of you and undervalue yourself. Likewise, don't expect your line manager to have a new salary already calculated for you in case you finally plucked up the courage to ask. How much are you looking for? Find out your market value:

  • Use job ads to judge the pay scales of similar roles

  • Speak directly to your HR department to find out how pay rises are calculated in your company

  • Make use of online salary checkers such as and Keep up-to-date with industry news to see how the market is behaving as a whole

However, it’s important to recognise that there can be a huge variation in salary according to context. Take into consideration your company size, responsibilities and skills in comparison to the wider market

Choose the right time and place to ask

Liz Ryan, CEO and Founder of Human Workplace, highlights the following times as optimum for discussing pay rises.

  • 90 days before your annual review

  • At the start of a large project

  • When you take on more responsibility

  • When you’re given another person’s workload

  • When your boss acknowledges your contribution

Additionally, Psychology Today suggests that Thursdays and Fridays are good times to talk about pay rises. People want to finish their workloads before the week is out – and this may include tying up any salary negotiations with you. Before you request a meeting with your manager, look at it from your employer’s perspective. Is it the right time for the company to be discussing pay increases? Are they celebrating recent success or have they just experienced major losses? Being sympathetic to their position and strategically picking your moment can make all the difference.

You’ve found the right time, now find the right location. Choose a neutral location in the office to discuss your salary - a relaxed manager sitting comfortably away from a desk is more likely to empathise with your request.

Why do you deserve a pay rise? Make a strong pitch. Length of service does not automatically entitle you to a pay rise, nor does needing more money. Give reasons relating to the value of your work contributions and not your personal circumstances – your new home or child's university fees, for example, are not your employer’s concern. Use examples of how you’ve gone above and beyond your current role and job description. Back yourself with evidence, for example how much revenue you have personally generated or saved.

Have a follow-up plan

Try not to be disappointed if you don't get the result you want, be proactive. Agree upon new objectives and set a follow-up meeting to discuss a salary increase when they've been achieved. If you feel you've made a strong case and were still passed over, perhaps it's time to think about finding a new role where you will be fairly rewarded?

Get help negotiating a pay rise

Speaking with a specialist recruiter can help you understand your worth, contextually. At Selby Jennings, we can evaluate your profile against the wider talent market, as well as align your expectations with that of our current client base. If you're looking to move from your current role, we can help you pitch your value at the right price during the salary negotiation process. Get in touch for personal advice.


About Us

Selby Jennings is a leading specialist recruitment agency for banking and financial services. For more than 15 years, we have given clients and candidates peace of mind that the recruitment process is in expert hands. Our continual investment in best-in-class technologies and consultant training enables us to recruit with speed, precision and accuracy. Today, Selby Jennings provides contingency and retained search recruitment across 11 offices in 6 countries. Contact us to find out how Selby Jennings can help you.