Get The Pay Raise You Deserve | A Step-by-Step Guide

March 05, 2023

You know you’ve earned it. You rightly deserve that pay increase.

But… it’s still scary to ask for a pay raise!

It’s natural that you feel that way.

Salary negotiations are, after all, never pretty. They’re fraught with empty promises, deceptive statistics and sometimes, downright lies.

We often come to this nasty salary negotiation battle unprepared.

So, I’m here to arm you. I’m here to help you win.

Here’s our effective, step-by-step guide on how to ask for the pay raise you deserve.

How to Successfully Negotiate your Pay Raise

If you want a salary raise, we advise that you follow these seven steps to ensure success;

You don’t necessarily need to wait for a performance review to try and get a salary increase. But before you start, you should already have a salary figure in mind.

Step 1: Know Your Salary Benchmarks

It’s hard to refute industry benchmarks (average salary or salary range in your industry, average salary increment) during a negotiation, so it’s important that you know your salary benchmark.

Come to the negotiation prepared with these figures.

There’s data on this on Glassdoor and Salary, but these are predominantly U.S. numbers. In our experience, their Singapore salaries aren’t very accurate.

So if you’re unsure about the market rate for your role, find out with our Singapore salary guide instead.

Step 2: Gather Your Performance Results

Your work performance data is more important than salary data!

During the negotiation, back your claims up with evidence.

Numbers. Data. Achievements.

Just like how we weave Achievements into your CV to help you stand out, numbers are concrete evidence of your contributions to the company.

They show the scale of the impact you’ve made.

When preparing your performance data, ask yourself:

  • What were my KPIs last year? How did I perform? Did I meet or exceed these targets?
  • How did my performance compare with others in my company? Did I outperform my peers?
  • How much revenue/profit have I brought to my company?
  • Did I manage to cut costs for the company? How, and how much?

Have these figures ready before the negotiation, then print out your performance data and salary benchmarks.

You’ll need them.

Step 3: Email Your Boss to Schedule A Negotiation

Set a time with your boss to discuss your pay raise.

Scheduling the negotiation sets a fair time and gives advance notice to your boss, so both of you can be mentally prepared.

Don’t combine this meeting with any other agenda.

Keep it solely for the purpose of negotiating your salary increment; neither you nor your boss should be distracted from this objective.

Here’s a simple email template you can use to schedule your meeting:

Dear Boss,

We spoke 2 weeks ago about me contributing more to the firm. I’m glad to report that I’ve hit the targets we set together on Task X. Let’s have that salary negotiation we previously agreed upon reaching this milestone.

Will Wednesday, 3pm work for you?

Step 4: Rehearse Your Responses Beforehand

Naturally, your boss may not agree with you the first time.

You can expect several standard replies from him:

  • “We don’t have the budget for this.”
  • “We need to be cautious. 2021 is looking like a rocky year.”
  • “You’re already the best paid member in the department. We can’t go any higher.”

Before entering the negotiation, think about what your boss might say!

Then practise responding to your boss in a courteous but firm manner, determined in your negotiation.

Practise your responses again and again. You owe it to yourself to be well prepared.

ResumeWriter Tip: If you’re already our customer, just email us and we’ll send you actual, time tested, word-for-word scripts you can use to overcome these scare bombs.

Step 5: Negotiate Confidently

Finally, the day has come around! It’s time to navigate this tricky conversation on pay increment.

Take a deep breath! Exhale!

Let’s do this.

During the negotiation, always back your claims up with data.

Start with your contributions on Task X. Then, explain how you have compared your salary to others in the industry (at this point, take those printed materials out of your folder and show them to your boss).

Give your boss a few seconds to read through them.

Don’t feel pressured to continue talking after you’ve made your point.

Stay calm and let the data speak for itself. Let it sink in to your boss.

The better your boss understands the data, the stronger your negotiation position will be.

Now, start negotiating. Clearly state your expected salary levels.

Here’s a script you can use:

“Well, as you can see from the data on Task X, I’ve brought in XX value to the company. That’s going to amount to XX dollars each year. I enjoy working here, and I want to continue to add this value to the company and be rewarded for it.

Looking at the Hays Salary Guide, I’m on the low end of the pay range. A fair compensation would be X’XXX SGD. I would like a 500 SGD pay rise to get me to that level.”

At this point, you can expect to use all your rehearsed answers from Step 4. Don’t waver! Stand your ground.

Step 6: Discuss Extra Benefits

Most employees don’t realise that the employee payroll and benefits budget are separate.

You might be at the maximum payroll level for your position, but you can tap into your firm’s benefits budget!

Negotiate extra benefits such as:

  • Car allowance
  • Parenthood allowance (some large MNCs have this)
  • Additional days of leave (which you can encash if unused)
  • Flexible working hours or days

There are dozens of points you can negotiate on. Leverage each point to squeeze out a good deal for yourself. They may ask you to take on additional responsibilities, so prepare for this in advance.

Beyond your salary increment value, these smaller benefits do add up (eg. enacting 8 days of leave at the end of the year would be worth half a month’s salary), so consider them too instead of simply focusing on getting more money.

Step 7: Close Graciously, or Postpone The Negotiation

Sometimes, you might not successfully clinch your desired pay raise or benefits. Don’t accept a sub-par offer!

Instead, negotiate new work milestones you can hit, and agree to revisit the negotiation in 2 months. Also agree to have the pay increment raise backdated if these milestones are achieved.

Remember: Companies exist to turn profits. The more you contribute to these profits (the bottom line), the easier it is to justify your pay raise.

Should your negotiation be successful, close graciously and thank your boss. Before you leave the meeting, ensure that you get the agreement down in writing.

Establishing a record of this agreement prevents management from going back on their word.

You could also send an email to recap the discussion with your boss (and HR) after the meeting, and get an email confirmation from your boss in response.


If you’ve successfully negotiated your salary increment, congratulations! You’ve put in the hard work and rightfully deserve all the spoils.

Obtaining a salary increase isn’t easy, and in the modern era sometimes a raise request is necessary to get the salary you deserve.

So, drafting a simple salary increase letter (or preferably email) to discuss your current salary and an increase is a good idea. After this is done, it’s up to you to show why you’re worth that little bit extra.

Return to Ultimate Singapore Job Search Hub

Harry Suresh
Latest posts by Harry Suresh (see all)