5 Smooth Emails to Tell Your Difficult Boss You Would Like a Raise

When you have a difficult boss, asking for a raise can feel extremely hard. It can be tempting to simply put up with your low salary, or to jump ship and find another job elsewhere, rather than fighting for what you deserve.

Before you decide to give up, try one of the following email templates – in the worst case, your boss will decline your request for a raise and you can then decide whether to look for another job, but on the other hand, you might just succeed and get that raise after all! If you don’t ask, you’re not likely to get.

We’ve put together 5 email templates that persuasively tell your difficult boss you would like a raise for you to pick and apply to your own scenario:

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Email Template 1 | “My Colleagues Are Earning More”


Dear [Insert Name],
As you know, it will be three years since I joined [Insert Company Name] on the 15th of this month. I’ve really enjoyed working here, and I’ve learned so much. I believe I’ve made a positive contribution to the company, and I’m committed to working hard to further develop my skills in the future.
With all of this in mind, I was surprised to learn that many of my colleagues earn considerably more than I earn, even though we have the same workloads and responsibilities. I’m sure that you’d agree that this doesn’t seem to be in line with company policy.
Would it be possible to meet with you to discuss a pay rise, to bring my salary in line with that of other employees? If you are free on Monday at 3 pm, that would be ideal for me.
Best regards,
[Insert Your Name]
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Email Template 2 | “I’ve Been Headhunted”


Dear [Insert Name],
I’m emailing you today to discuss the possibility of a pay rise with you.
Whilst I am very happy with my role and responsibilities here, I have recently been approached by another firm, who would like to offer me a job, with a salary that is higher than what I currently earn.
I am more than satisfied with my current job, and I have no desire to move to a new role, but I would be foolish not to consider it, given the salary. That’s why I wanted to discuss it with you before making any decisions.
Would it be possible to arrange a meeting with you, to discuss the possibility of a raise? If [Insert Company Name] could match this new salary offer, I would, of course, be more than happy to reject my new job offer. Please let me know when it would be convenient to meet.
Kind Regards,
[Your Name]
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Email Template 3 | “I Need a Raise for Personal Reasons”


Dear [Insert Name],
I’m emailing you to let you know about my changed personal circumstances and to ask you to consider awarding me a pay rise.
As you may know already, my partner and I have been wanting to start a family for some time. This week, we got the news that our first child is on the way. Obviously, bringing up a family is an expensive business, and I need to think about how I can best provide for us all.
I’ve been working here for five years now, and my appraisals have always been very positive. My track record on projects speaks for itself and my time-keeping is also excellent. In view of these things, I’d like to ask for a pay rise and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss it.
Could we add it as a topic for discussion after my weekly progress report on Thursday?
Best regards,
[Insert Your Name]

Whilst it’s good to mention the reason that has prompted your request for a pay rise, it’s important to be able to justify it too, with solid examples of why you deserve it. These examples have to come from your work, and not from your personal life.

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Email Template 4 | “I’m Getting Married”


Dear [Insert Name],
This email is to let you know that I have recently got engaged and that we intend to get married early next year.
This change in my personal life has driven me to work even harder to progress at work. I have always been very conscientious in my approach, and my colleagues are always very positive about working with me. Whilst I have been working here for more than four years now, I have not yet received a pay rise since starting.
I’d like to request a meeting with you, therefore, to discuss this matter with you. Would Monday morning be convenient?
Best regards,
[Insert Your Name]

Email Template 5 | “My Annual Pay Review Is Overdue”


Dear [Insert Name],
As you know, I had my annual performance review and appraisal recently. After I met with you to go through it, you mentioned that you had to delay the associated annual pay review for a week or two, due to other commitments you had.
As that was almost two months ago now, I wanted to raise the matter with you, to see whether you are now in a position to complete the pay review.
I was very pleased with my performance review, which noted that I had worked consistently hard throughout the year, and had achieved a number of notable successes with new clients. In view of this positive feedback, I’m hopeful that my pay review will reflect the commitment I have shown and the hard work that I’ve put in over the year.
Would it be OK to schedule a meeting with you through your PA, so that we can complete the pay review process as soon as possible?
Kind regards,
[Insert Your Name]

Once you have sent out your email, be proud of the fact that you had the courage to do it, and stay confident that you will get a positive response. Be prepared for any questions that your manager may ask, and don’t be afraid to talk about your achievements and why you deserve a pay rise.

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At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.   

If you’re interested in further reading, we’ve also included links to our trusted resources and related posts below. To find out more about NTRW and our recommended tools, you can do that here.  

Lastly, if you found this content helpful or want to share your own examples, let us know in the comments. We’d also be delighted if you shared this article and joined us on social media too!

Article by Never the Right Word

Scripts & Templates for Life’s Uncomfortable Conversations. Learn more about NTRW here. NTRW is supported by adverts and affiliate marketing links. For more info, please see our Earnings Disclosure.

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Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation. Learn more about me here.

In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.

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