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Ask Liz: how do I ask for a pay rise?

Ask Liz: how do I ask for a pay rise?
Dear Liz, I have been on the same salary for over two years now. I feel I make a huge contribution to my agency; I put in the hours and always meet my deadlines. I think I deserve a raise but would feel awkward asking for one, and the opportunity has never really arisen. Do you have any advice on how I can go about asking for a pay rise?

The research shows that men often see a pay rise conversation like a game of squash; something to be enjoyed and won, whereas women would rather pull out their own teeth than have such a conversation. So ladies, take a deep breath and be bold!

Find out when your reviews take place. Your contract, employee handbook or manager should be able to tell you that.

All managers out there, please avoid discussing salary as part of an appraisal. Whilst performance should feed into salary decisions, the appraisal is a conversation about performance, not pay.

Do some research to find out your market worth, not with a view of leaving your agency, but so that you can have a factual conversation with your manager. I also suggest that you write up your key achievements so that you and your manager can review these together.

It is about what you can do for the business not what the business can do for you. Make it a positive and factual meeting with no moaning.

Sell yourself and be prepared to negotiate.

If you have an HR-related issue that you need answering by our expert Liz Nottingham, Starcom MediaVest Regional HR Director Western Europe, please contact her via

Any questions published will appear anonymously. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and were submitted in accordance with the IPA's terms and conditions regarding the uploading and contribution of content to the IPA's newsletters, IPA website, or other IPA media, and should not be interpreted as representing the opinion of the IPA.

Last updated 23/04/2014

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