How (and when) to ask for a pay rise

We ask three entrepreneurs – all of whom lead creative teams – to share their insights on how to recognise you are being underpaid, and how to go about the tricky business of asking for more money


It’s a difficult thing to do no matter what stage of your career you are at, but as we learn from these three entrepreneurs – all of whom lead creative teams – it can often be the case that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Here’s their advice on how to approach your employer to discuss a pay rise.


“If you think you’re underpaid, then you probably are (we know there is gap of approximately 20% if you’re female, and the same for people in the BAME community),” says Hanan. However, she does recommend doing some digging. “First, befriend your project manager and ask how you’re being billed – you may be a mid-weight, but if you’re consistently billed as a senior creative, then yes, you should be paid at a senior rate.”

Before asking for a raise, Hanan recommends you make a business case. “For example, if you’ve billed across a project for months on-end or brought in awards or – best of all – new business, you’ve delivered enormous financial value to your company. Contributing directly to the bottom line should give any pay argument the weight it needs. And that should be reflected in your pay. Better still, if you’re a key player in a creative relationship with a client, that puts you in a strong negotiation position.”