How to get a raise in your income | Galway Business School

Business Trends

How to get a raise in your income | Galway Business School

Posted 13 June

Over the course of this article, we will help you get that raise you’ve always wanted. We’re going to look at the skills you might need to move up in your current job, how you might switch to another job, or how you could start your own thing. 

1. Stay where you are, and change what you can offer

You may be happy where you currently work, you just want more financial recognition. 

So just stay put in your job and create some time and space to reinvent yourself. There is always space for learning and there are countless opportunities to do so. Your potential to become a more valuable part of the workforce is something that you control. Keep learning formally or informally. Take up some part-time business courses or marketing management courses if you like the support of an established course provider, or hit YouTube or classic marketing books and business management books, if you prefer to teach yourself.


You need to gently chip away at this and it will pay off over time. People with better levels of education will always be able to negotiate higher levels of income so if you have a degree, you might consider taking a part-time postgraduate course in business management or marketing. 

What’s even more important if you’re about to upskill through part time study, is that it’s really good if you have a business you know well to instantly apply your new-found knowledge to. Whether you’re studying about digital marketing approaches, HR best practice, leadership and management approaches or financial planning, if you have a good working knowledge of an organisation you’ve been with for a couple of years, you can quickly evaluate how your business is doing compared with the theory you’re learning. That can then open lots of doors. If you see opportunities for improvement, you can go and speak to your line manager with your ideas. If you don’t know how a separate part of the business works, e.g. the finance department, you can go and arrange a meeting with the finance manager, to learn more about what they do. 

How to get a raise in your income

How to get a raise in your income

The more you learn about how your place of work operates, and the more you can see opportunities to improve, particularly financially, then the more value you’ll have to that business. Suddenly you’re not just doing the job you’re paid to do, you’re going much wider.

So imagine you’re now embarked on one of these part-time management courses, and you’re really thinking differently about your place of work. You’re becoming known as someone who wants to help the business move forward. You’ve become known to quite a few people (including the finance manager!). Now it’s time to get some of that value you’re adding recognised. 


Now is the time to talk to your current employer about a raise in your salary. This can be the most daunting aspect for people as they worry it will involve some confrontation with their superior. You never know what they’re thinking or never know if they’re as happy with your work as you are. You don’t want to come across as being a greedy employee who is looking to freeload from the company.


However, it’s a fool’s game if you’re waiting for your manager or employer to increase your salary out of the goodness of their heart. They’re not going to reach this decision on their own.


Here’s some simple tips to help you:


  • Timing is everything. Perhaps waiting patiently until the right moment when they’re in a good mood just might be the thing that gets you the raise. But more likely it’s the trail of good ideas and suggestions you’ve made from what you recently learned, which hopefully makes them realise how much it would help them if you stayed around.
  • Focus on how much work you’re actually doing and have a plan first before you sell. Have some of those projects and ideas that you did well on recently in the back of your mind to use as ammo if they do have a counter argument. Stay positive. Remind them about all the part-time courses that you’re enrolled on and how you’re working hard in your spare time to become a more valuable employee. Even if you managed to get them to pay for the course, it’s still your time and motivation that is being given for free.    
  • Pitch a business case to them. Go in with a number in mind. Be clear about exactly how much you want to be earning. Outline how you have succeeded on various different projects in the past and how you are going to continue to grow the business in the future. Talk with confidence about the opportunities you see, and feel free to namedrop people in other functions you’ve been speaking to. Have a researched price in mind for what you think you should get and what you’re willing to negotiate down to if they have a counter offer.
How to get a raise in your income

How to get a raise in your income

2. Change Your Job

It may be that when you try to renegotiate your rate of pay, it really does fall on deaf ears, that there is no possible way they’re ever going to pay you more. That is the reality in some companies (though the chances are that if you’re really making a difference by now, they’ll come to regret that decision some day!).

It could be, of course, that you’re not happy in your current job for other reasons - like your colleagues aren’t your ideal tribe of people, the pressure is unhealthy and the recognition is generally poor, and you don’t feel you can change that. 

If you feel like your current job is holding you back from what you are capable of achieving, then maybe you have given it enough chance and it’s time to change. If this is the case then maybe it’s time to look at how you can segue into a new role in a new company.

Have a look at your LinkedIn profile including your academic and professional experience. If it’s starting to look a bit tired, you might need to update it with your latest successes, and get colleagues to vouch for you for different skills you already have, or projects you’ve worked on together. Be sure to add any continuing professional development you’ve benefited from at work, or part-time courses you’ve attended to show you’re keeping your skills up-to-date. Make sure that your status reads that you’re actively looking for work. This will make it easier for recruiters and companies to find you.

Sell the parts you think look good and try and improve the parts that don’t. Notice where there might be gaps in your education or experience and see if you can turn these into positives.  If you have a particular project or an achievement that you have obtained throughout your career, use that to sell yourself. 

You can find people to help you to do this professionally, there are companies who will help you to write your CV for a price, but we wouldn’t recommend that as a first step; instead try to do it yourself. Nobody knows your own experience better. Start by asking a few friends who have successful jobs how they wrote their CV and maybe, if they are kind enough, they will send you a copy to get tips from or give you feedback on your own. A word of warning though, whilst it can be tempting, don’t fall into the common trap of lying - this will come back to haunt you in an interview.  Just focus on the things you have accomplished!

If you work in marketing, you might like to check out our list of the highest paid digital marketing jobs to give you something to aim for. Then you can research specific job roles and understand the skillsets you may be looking to acquire. And if you are missing the basics, here’s one of our programmes which could help you out, the marketing management certificate. Alternatively, if you have time on your side, and can afford to take a break between jobs, then you could reinvent yourself and dive in head first and take a full-time course. This will look fantastic on your LinkedIn and will spice it up with something fresh.

Apply for companies that are growing in a growing sector. It cannot be stressed enough that stagnant companies will only give stagnant wages. If you work for a company that is doing well, it will give more bonuses and more pay increases to its employees. It will also be more dynamic and offer you challenges that you won’t find in a company where you are doing the same thing over and over.

How to get a raise in your income

How to get a raise in your income

3. Start your own business

Maybe there’s a voice inside you saying, “You know what? I could do this myself”. Perhaps you want to be the boss but you don’t feel quite ready to take the leap. Or maybe you’re so full of confidence you just know it’s going to work out. This will depend on what kind of person you are. Before you quit your current job and send that rude email to your boss you’ve been planning, do some research. You’ll never have more time to reflect than you have right now. Running your own business can be massively rewarding, but also massively time consuming. You may have all the skills to get started, but it’s worth considering what skills you might need to keep things going and grow and develop, as your new venture takes off. Now might actually be the best time to acquire those skills. If so, you might want to consider your options first and maybe take some part-time courses that will give you the tools you need to start a business.  

 Most business ideas start from people who are employed in the same industry but believe they’ve found better way to do it. Alternatively, the idea may come from a hobby that you know there’s a demand for in your area.  Taking a marketing management course part-time would provide you with the knowledge to take this further, or perhaps you’ve noticed a local business who has a social media profile that could be done better. You may be able to offer them support. Start small, keep it simple, keep costs low and be consistent in the time you devote to it.


Learn as much as you can about whatever business you decide to start. You can do this by devoting a few hours a week to part-time courses. When starting a business, there will be a lot you learn through trial and error. This is unavoidable for any budding entrepreneur. Not even Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk get things right all of the time. At times, your mistakes are more valuable than your successes, as learning experiences. Embrace failures because they are at the heart of any success story.


One thing to remember is that starting out with a new business venture will usually involve you taking a pay cut, as you get your product or service offering in place, get your marketing message clear, and get new clients into the pipeline. But whilst the short-term might be a bit tight, ultimately you have every chance of getting that increase you always wanted. 

So there you have it. Three ways to get a raise in your postgrad business or marketing job. At the heart of each, the recommendation to learn, skill up and develop a deeper understanding. We wish you the best of luck, and of course, give us a shout if we can help you on your way.

If you’d like more information on part-time courses, head over to where you can find the part-time or full-time business or marketing course to suit your needs.