How to Ask for a Pay Raise in Today’s Hot Job Market

Yet wage growth is above its low of just 1.4 percent during the pandemic. And don’t forget that these headline figures include all workers, including those who didn’t receive any pay raises. For those who asked for and secured a raise, the gains were much higher.

“The details of the report make it clear that momentum is building,” Westpac economists Elliot Clarke and Ryan Wells observed in a research note to clients.

“Most significantly, private sector respondents who received a salary increase in the quarter reported an increase of 3.8 percent, the strongest result since June 2012.”

Westpac economists expect annual wage growth to accelerate to 4.5 percent by the end of 2023. With unemployment at a new 48-year low, it’s time you took some of that action.

So here are my top tips for asking your employer the big question.

1. Do not surprise your boss

There is a tendency for employees who haven’t had a pay raise for a while to feel a great deal of resentment.

Accept that you are partly to blame for not having the courage to bring up the subject. Now write a polite email to your boss requesting a time slot in his journal specifically to discuss your salary and performance.

2. Don’t complain about the cost of living

It’s true that prices are going up and if you don’t get a pay raise to compensate, you’re actually getting a real pay cut. But that is true for everyone. Not much of an argument why yourIn particular, you should get a big pay raise over other colleagues.

3. Do your research

Before requesting a meeting, research alternative jobs and wages. Jump online or talk to some recruiters.

Silently poll your networks. Ask your friends and colleagues how much they get paid. Most people are sensitive to this initially, but I think if you volunteer your own salary, they are more likely to be forthcoming.

Just be careful, as some companies still have draconian “payment secrecy” clauses to prevent you from disclosing your payment.

4. Don’t bring a knife to a shooting

Your boss is likely to ask you why you deserve a raise. He has a good answer.

Whenever possible, use statistics to support your claim. Write an assertively worded one-page summary of all the ways you are behaving above and beyond your initial job description, and evidence of the ways you add value to the company.

If you feel confused in your meeting, you can hand it out or email it later.

5. Get ready to walk

Be prepared for your employer to simply say “no.” If they do, ask for another review in three months and ask for specific things your employer wants to see before giving you a salary progression.


However, some employers may still refuse. In which case, you should be prepared to walk away for a better offer.

The good news is that in today’s job market, you are more likely to find alternative employment than at any time since the 1970s.

If you find a better offer, take it.

  • The advice provided in this article is general and is not intended to influence readers’ decisions about investments or financial products. They should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their own personal circumstances before making any financial decisions.

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