Stay Or Go? How To Ask Your Tech Boss For A Pay Rise

The tech industry is always on the move, with new opportunities arising across industries. As with most evolving industries, it is hard to benchmark the tech industry and accurately determine what your career trajectory could look like; for some rising stars, the ascent through the ranks can be remarkably rapid. 

If you are at a point in your current position where  you want to flex your skills but you don’t see what career opportunities are available, or you simply feel that you should be paid more for the job you are doing, you are left with three choices: 

  1. Look for other tech jobs
  2. Ask for a pay rise 
  3. Do nothing 

With so many tech jobs coming up, it is always tempting to look for new opportunities and the grass often seems greener on the other side of the fence. However, if you are generally happy with the work, culture and colleagues in your current post, it is probably worth asking for a pay rise first before you make a big leap. And, of course, you could always do nothing, but that will mean that you will find yourself having the same internal dialogue over and over again until you make a decision – or one is made for you.

Asking for a pay rise requires some careful planning and a considerable amount of courage but it is worth doing; after all, if you are unsuccessful, you can always look elsewhere for a job that meets your requirements. 

Undertake Research To Back Up Your Request

There is no point going to your boss and just saying that you want more money. While some organizations may reward you for the shear gumption of doing so, most will want your request to be backed up with hard facts. Take some time to build your case for support. Research jobs similar to yours and their entry-level as well as more experienced salaries. If you come across job descriptions that are very similar to yours, with considerably more pay, make note of them so that you can demonstrate your potential worth to other organizations. 

Once you can prove what your role is worth, it is time to prove what you are worth. It’s time to shout about the work that you do; highlight recent successes and your impact on your team and wider department. Remember, for some companies, it will be more cost effective to give you a pay rise than it will be to recruit and train someone new, so make sure they know that you are indispensable.  

Choose Your Timing Carefully

When it comes for asking the big questions, timing is a significant factor. If things are tough or there have been recent lay offs  – either in your organization or in the wider industry – it may not be the right time to ask for more money. If they are going through a brief lean period, then it is probably a good idea to wait a while. Likewise, if there have been big layoffs, hold off asking; not only may your organization be feely the pinch, but there are more likely to be other people to fill your position actively looking, as well as fewer job opportunities for you to compare your role too. 

On the flip side, if things are going well, then it could be the right time to ask the question! If the industry in general and your company specifically is doing well financially, or you have just completed a successful project, you will have plenty of information to back up your request.

Plan Your Approach

Successfully asking for a pay rise isn’t just about when you ask, but how you ask. Business is going well, your performance has been great, and you have your case planned out. Now you need to work out how you are going to ask. The best option is to ask your supervisor or manager if you can arrange a meeting within the next week or so. When the time comes, don’t dive in and ask for more money. Say how much you enjoy working for the organization, and express your long term commitment to the business. Express gratitude for the opportunities that you have been given so far and enthusiasm for future growth before clearly vocalizing your request for a pay rise, and the information that you have gathered to back this up. Emphasize your wealth of skills, experience and attributes and how they have, and will continue to, bring benefits to the organization. 

Handling Outcomes

Just as you have three choices in how to approach your desire or need for a pay rise, your employer has three options on how to deal with your request. 1. Grant the request, with no caveats. 2. Grant the request in principle, on the proviso you take on additional responsibility or undergo more training and development first. 3. Deny your request. 

If they happily offer you more money, then that is great! Make sure that you let your manager know how much you appreciate being appreciated. If there are caveats to your pay rise, make sure that they are clearly set out with timelines and expectations so that you know what you need to do, and when. And if they say no, what you do next depends on their justifications and your personal situation. If the timing wasn’t right and they say it will be reviewed in six months, then it may be worth sitting tight for a while. However, if you firmly believe that you are not being paid what you are worth, and you know that your organization doesn’t have any intention of correcting that any time soon, then it may be time to start seriously looking for tech jobs that meet your needs, both now and in the future. A tech recruiter can give you a good idea of the recruitment landscape and advise you on whether your job is paying you what you are worth. 

Asking for a pay rise is not something that should be done on the spur of the moment, but if approached with preparation and sufficient evidence, you will be able to improve your chances of success, either in your current organization or in new, greener, pastures. 

Francis Stein
Francis Stein
Francis Stein is a writer and traveler who has already traveled most of the states of America. He loves to explore new places and meet new people, and he hopes to continue traveling the world in search of adventure. Francis enjoys writing about his experiences as a way of sharing his love for exploration with others.


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