Introducing one of our most highly anticipated blogs to date. And it’s no surprise! Many of us have been raised with the belief that talking about money is a taboo - the idea of even hinting at a potential pay rise comes with a large side of anxiety.

Is it normal to ask for a raise? In short…absolutely!

  • It is highly likely that your boss deals with salaries all the time so as momentous as the subject may be to you, it is not for them.
  • Unless you are working in a toxic environment, it would not be seen as a tasteless request that will tarnish your relationship with your boss.

Let’s rewire your thinking: A pay rise is not a favour or a gift! It is a symbolic recognition that you are contributing at a higher level than when your salary was initially set. Employers need to pay fair market value for your work. Be sure to check our latest salary survey to gauge a better understanding of how your peers earn in the current market.

Step 1: Timing is Everything

Be thoughtful with how you approach your manager. You can start with this short read about understanding your boss' likes and dislikes which is essential for all Personal and Executive Assistants.

There are 2 instances when we advise you approach your manager:

  • When your boss has been especially pleased with your work lately.
  • When it is most optimal based on a company’s raise and budget cycles*

*Does your employer give pay raises only once a year? Pay attention to when that normally happens whether that’s on the anniversary of your start date or tied to your company’s fiscal year.

Step 2: Factor in the Company’s Salary Structure

How well do you know your own employer’s salary structure? You will find that some employers have rigid policies around how large a pay increase anyone can get at any time. Others can be a lot more generous.

Other sensible things to consider:

  • Did your company recently make a lot of layoffs?
  • Were there any budget cuts announced?
  • Did your boss lose a huge client or go through an unsuccessful financial year?

Step 3: Bank on your Positives

Asking for a pay rise simply because you have been with an organisation for a set time is not enough of a reason. Be prepared with deeper reasonings!

  • Create a new folder in your computer to store notes from clients, colleagues, and your boss in which you were praised for your work ethic. Update weekly as it would be a shame to forget your wins.
  • How much money have you saved for the company? What projects or initiatives have you taken to improve efficiency in the company? Where have you put in the extra hours?
  • Prepare evidence of regular self-evaluations (regular reviews you do of your own work in addition to formal annual or performance reviews with your boss. Be sure to read our step-by-step guide on how to prepare for a performance review to get the most out of those valuable check-ins.

Step 4: Be Friendly but Confident

Write a script and practice with a friend if your nerves tend to get the better of you. If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect others to believe in you? Tone and attitude during these kinds of meetings are crucial.

Top Tip: Consider your employer’s perspective. Imagine you are in their shoes and think why they should give you an increase.

Depending on your boss’ personality perhaps spend the first 30% of your allotted meeting building a rapport by chatting to them about their lives or their interests outside work. Human beings always will respond way better to someone they feel they can connect with...but be confident! When it time comes to turn the topic towards the raise:

  1. List your achievements with confidence and conviction.
  2. Avoid ‘this might be a silly question’, ‘no worries if not’, ‘I hope this makes sense’. This is not the time to play the humble card or downplay your expertise.

Things to be aware of

If you have done some investigation into your companies’ policies and happen to find out that men in your office are earning more than women for the same work, you have a different issue on your hands where we recommend googling ‘how to address a gender pay gap’.


  • Asking for a pay rise is normal and should not be seen as taboo.
  • Understand your boss's perspective; salary discussions are routine for them.
  • Approach your manager when they're pleased with your work or during optimal times in the company's budget cycles.
  • Consider the company's salary structure and recent financial situations before asking for a pay rise.
  • Prepare evidence of your accomplishments and contributions to justify your request confidently.
  • Practice your script and maintain a friendly yet confident tone during the meeting with your boss.