How to negotiate a pay rise

How to negotiate a pay rise

At Inspired we are passionate about your publishing career. We are here to support you from your first step into the industry right to the end of your career. Our mantra to a truly successful life and career is to do it with courage! All too many times we meet candidates who love their jobs but are just not able to justify staying in their role because it’s not kept up with the pay that your experience and expertise require or, put simply, is not paying your worth.  

With the cost-of-living crisis on going, it won’t be a surprise to hear that our consultants have been inundated with candidates in this exact situation. Whilst we are here to facilitate you moving jobs, if we hear from you that your primary motivation for moving jobs is financial then we have some good news, you don’t have to leave your dream company or role, you just need to follow these steps and prepare for the biggest career game changing conversation of your life! That’s right – here is our advice on how to successfully negotiate a pay rise! 

people shaking hands

First of all, know your worth – we love this quote: “A bottle of water in a supermarket is 50p, a bottle of water in a gym is £2, a bottle of water on a plane is £5- they are all the same bottle of water. 

The bottle and the brand are the same, the only thing that changes is the place. Each place gives a different value to the same product. 

Have the courage to change places and go to a place where you are given the value you deserve. Surround yourself with people who really appreciate your worth. “

You may relate to some of this sentiment if you are feeling under paid and valued. If you are feeling under valued for any other reason than monetary, unhappy and that you are not able to thrive to your full potential, then skip all of the next steps and begin to find a new role at a company and within a team that will allow you to shine and feel valued! Inspired would be delighted to support you in this journey! However, if you are feeling purely under-paid, then maybe the place doesn’t need to change at all. Here are some steps to work with your employer to address that -in other words, perhaps the vendor needs to change the price of that water, rather than the water finding somewhere else to be! 


  • Research industry salary benchmarks for your specific role in publishing.
  • Consider your experience, skills, and contributions to the company and how you are helping the business reach its goals 
  • Gather data on your achievements over the last 6- 12 months and any added responsibilities you've taken on since your last pay rise. 

Timing is everything! 

  • Find the best time to discuss this with your line manager and any other stakeholders who will sign off any potential raise. 
  • Ideal times may include annual appraisals, the completion of a major project, or when the company is doing well financially.

Create a presentation 

  • Create a presentation that highlights your achievements, skills, and the value you bring to the company.
  • Practice talking through your presentation in advance, focusing on confidence and clarity.

Question time: be prepared 

  • Be prepared for questions around your proposal 
  • Be open to compromise and understand the company's financial constraints.
  • Set a realistic salary increase range based on your research and the company's current situation.

How you Communicate is key! 

  • Take 20 seconds of Courage 
  • Then at the right time ask for a meeting with the person who can sign off a pay rise and let them know in advance that you want to discuss your role and future with the company so they are not on the back foot and are ready to discuss this with you 
  • Clearly and confidently present your case, highlighting your contributions and the benefits of investing in your growth.
  • Maintain a positive and professional attitude throughout the process.
  • Listen actively to their response and be prepared to address any concerns or questions.

Objection overruled! 

Be prepared for objections – as there is likely to be some push back. The most common objections might be: 

  • We are not reviewing salaries until the end of the financial year 
  • You are at the top of your pay band for this role 
  • No one else is paid that much money in the company 
  • I do not have sign off to approve salary increases 
  • We don’t have the budget 

Our advice would be to revisit the research you have already completed and to reiterate that you are just looking to be paid fairly and competitively in line with other market rates and that this is about you and your pay. 

If you are at the top of a salary bracket, perhaps its time to talk about a new role at the company with added responsibility. Again, do this with both a professional and positive attitude. 

Follow Up

  • If the initial response is not what you hoped for don’t give up or feel disheartened
  • Politely ask for feedback on why your request was not approved and seek advice on what you can do to improve your chances in the future.
  • Continue to excel in your role, and consider revisiting the negotiation at a later date...

Good luck and remember the value of that water bottle in one place versus another… some food for thought! 

Our company values




Did you like this article? Want to read more like this? Why not sign up to the Library Updates on your account?

Sign up