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Feeling underpaid? Here’s how to ask for a pay rise


New trends and technologies have revolutionised the marketing industry in recent years, making way for a huge number of exciting new career opportunities. In fact, job vacancies in the industry have increased by 53.5% since 2014 according to CV-Library data. Yet concerning new research from CV-Library reveals that over half (57.9%) of those who work in marketing jobs believe that they are underpaid. 

Below, we explore the average salaries of marketing professionals, offering advice on how you can approach your boss for a pay rise if you think you’re not earning what you deserve.

Average salaries in the marketing sector 

Interestingly, despite many marketers feeling underpaid, average salaries in the industry have actually increased in recent years. Pay packets have seen a 7.8% rise over the last five years, jumping from an average of £30,945 to £33,198, according to CV-Library data. Likewise, we found 9% more marketers are earning over £40,000 compared to last year in our latest Salary & Market Report

Asking for more money is never easy. In fact, CV-Library found that 71.4% of marketing professionals said that they’d be too afraid to ask their boss for a pay rise. But the truth is, with the living costs on the rise, fair pay is essential for all professionals. As such, we’ve put together a few tips on how you can feel more comfortable asking for a pay rise

1. Know your worth

Before you ask your boss for more money, you need to understand what is reasonable. Do some research and look at the average salaries for your industry and how much other companies are offering for your role. This way you’ll be better equipped to ask your boss for a fair and justified pay rise.

2. Gather your evidence

Next, you need to build your case. It’s all well and good meeting with your manager to tell them that you want more money, but you also need to show them why you deserve it! Put together a few examples of how you’ve contributed towards the business and any great achievements that back up why you should get a pay rise. This will show your worth and help your manager to decide whether you deserve to be paid more. 

3. Time it right 

Consider the timing of your request. It’s probably not going to work in your favour if the business has just lost a big client, suffered a bad financial year or the boss is displeased with recent projects. Wait for some good news within the business, or the end of a successful project and arrange to meet with your line manager shortly after. If they’re feeling happy and positive, you’ll be more likely to get your pay rise. You also need to consider when your next appraisal will be taking place. You’ll be more likely to boost your salary if your manager is already preparing their budget for the department’s annual pay reviews. 

4. Remain calm and professional 

You need to remain calm and professional throughout the whole process, even if your manager says things you may not want to hear. Any negative behaviour will work against you and reduce the likelihood of you receiving your pay rise. 

5. Arrange a meeting 

Finally, you need to set up the meeting. Depending on how busy your manager is, either drop them an email or approach them in person, asking if you can arrange time for a chat. Make sure you set aside enough time for you to be able to make your case. It helps if your boss isn’t dashing in and out of meetings all day, otherwise their focus might be elsewhere. 

In summary

Asking for more money can be uncomfortable, so you need to approach the subject calmly and professionally. Make sure you prepare beforehand and back up your request with examples of why you deserve a pay rise.

If your request is turned down on this occasion, be sure to ask your boss for feedback so you can improve before your next pay review. 

You can meet our Delivery team here who are experts at offering advice and placing sub-management marketing jobs

For more expert advice on careers and the workplace, from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent jobs site, why not check out their Career Advice centre or Recruitment Insight pages.

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