You’re getting promoted. Great! After you’ve finished congratulating yourself, you should consider how to approach the inevitable salary negotiations that go with it. As part of our candidate resource centre, we’ve covered how to negotiate a starting salary, and now we’re going to cover how to do negotiate a pay rise alongside a promotion.

As with new job salary negotiations, there are a couple of key points worth remembering.


You should not be nervous about discussing pay. It is your right to try and get your worth, and it’s up to you to try and do so. As long as you go about it professionally and tactfully, there shouldn’t be any issues.


Although it’s not something to fear, it’s still worth consulting a recruitment consultant to get help with the process. We’re the experts: we spend our days negotiating with employers and know our markets. 

Being prepared

Those who have read RedCat Digital’s interview and pay rise tips may be sensing a theme here. As ever, preparation is key. Knowing the number you’re aiming for, which you can find out by doing research or speaking to recruiters beforehand, is really key.

As you’re negotiating a pay rise alongside a promotion, your employer is likely to already have a number in mind, which helps. 

It’s also worth noting that there are not many organisations – certainly not large ones, where a line manager will be able to approve a pay rise on the spot. It’s therefore, best to have something in writing, outlining your arguments as to why you deserve a more significant pay rise. 

This is not to say that you should not have an in-person meeting – you should – but having something in writing means the manager has something to refer to later. And, of course, it means you have to organise your thoughts and your arguments ahead of time.


Another important factor to consider is timing. There are certain times where it is best, and worst, to ask for a pay rise. It can be disruptive to ask for a manager to consider pay, but fortunately for this scenario, a promotional review is probably one of the best times to do so.

The worst time to ask is a period when your manager is very busy, or when the company has just indicated bad news – something like the loss of a major contract or if the company has just announced poor financial results and will be tightening the belt as a result.


As discussed in RedCat’s piece on negotiating salary increases when you accept a job, the way to approach the negotiation is like a business proposal. You have to demonstrate your value and why it’s worth the extra budget. Back this up with numbers and examples and you should be in a good place.

Dealing with rejection

There is, of course, the chance that you won’t get the rise you were hoping for. What should you do? The first thing to do is consider why it wasn’t granted. Is it because your manager doesn’t think that your performance warrants the rise? It could be easy to take that personally and get offended, but don’t. Have faith in your abilities and what you offer the company, and ask for the chance to put together another business case a bit further down the line explaining your worth again.

If the pay rise has been denied because there is no cash – that is, your boss agrees that you deserve it, but there isn’t enough budget – then ask for another meeting at a later date to review it. Ultimately, if there consistently isn’t enough cash to pay you your worth, that might be the point to consider moving jobs.

Ask the experts

Again, that’s where the experts can come in handy. Recruitment consultants can help guide you and ensure you do get your worth – which is what this process is all about. 

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