Background : Very Small but old Software Engineering Company, Sri Lanka. I enjoy my job and work-life balance is really good when comparing other companies in my country. So i don't wont looking other jobs, only problem is my salary is too low. I have close (not personal, officially) relationship with my boss and he generally know that I have some financial problems.

I have all 3 years experience and 11 month from current company. 1 year experience will be completed in next month.

I think that there will be salary increment in next month because my 1 year will be completed. I think salary will be increased by 10 - 15%. That is common % in small software companies in Sri lanka.

But I join this company for very low salary(I had to get that situation because of some personal issues in that time).

Even my company increase my salary by 30% or 40% still my salary is in average or below average margin in software engineering filed in Sri Lanka.

So what is the best way to ask around 30%, 40% salary increment by mail? I don't want to lose my job or I don't want to make a problem with my boss. So what is the best way to ask my boss from 30% - 40% salary increment?

  • 3
    What are you going to do if they say "no"? Mar 14, 2018 at 7:10
  • @PhilipKendall That's why I asked this question because I wont to o get answer as "Yes". I mean at least 25% increment....... Since I have good work-life balance here i don't wont to lost the job. I know how Sri lankan software industry.... Too much work... 10,12+ hours per day workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/97039/… Mar 14, 2018 at 7:12
  • Unless you're prepared to leave, there's no reason for your employer to pay you more. Decide how much that work-life balance is worth to you. Mar 14, 2018 at 7:15
  • 1
    @Dukeling This is not exactly duplicate for that question since I will get a increment any way in next month. Before they give it, I want more increment... Mar 14, 2018 at 7:40
  • 2
    Other companies obviously pay more because their employees work harder/longer. What justification do you have for earning more while still working less than other people?
    – user44108
    Mar 14, 2018 at 8:12

3 Answers 3


This is completely common in software.

The simple answer is don't mention "percentages" at all. They have nothing to do with anything. The language you want is simply this:

Boss, thanks for another wonderful year. Looking at the current market and my responsibilities, an appropriate salary starting in April would be $123,456 including the benefits system. Could we discuss this?

It's that simple. The phrase you want is

"Looking at the current market and my responsibilities, an appropriate salary would be ..."

You may want to add mention of your project or task purely as a reminder (KEEP IT SHORT - bosses are totally uninterested in detail), so

"Looking at the current market and my responsibilities with the Boeing client, an appropriate salary would be ..."

It's that simple. Never again mention or think of "percentages", and never again mention or think of your current salary.


So what is the best way to ask my boss from 30% - 40% salary increment?

Most companies are not going to give you a 30% to 40% raise just because you say so or based on the current market and such. What would be their motivation to do so??

The only real way to get that type of raise most of the time is by finding another job.

I know this is not the answer you want to read, but by finding a job that pays what you think your worth you do two things. First, you validate that you are indeed worth what you thought, and two by obtaining an offer you have the option of negotiating with your current employer or moving on.

A word of caution, using an offer from another company to boost your salary at your current place of employment is a risky move if you choose to stay put. Companies don't like being forced to pay up like that.

It may be better for you long term to move on to a new company at the appropriate salary when the numbers are that far out of whack.


There is no magical formula to get your boss to say yes to something!

The key to a successful salary negotiation is to have a very good Idea of what your work ist worth. If it is possible to find somebody else to do your work for the same kind of money, that´s the spot. If you get less, you should demand more.

This in turn means you have to be prepared to move on if your boss is not willing to pay you this minimum.

It may be wise to formulate your expectations before you get a (lower) raise and see if your employer is prepared to meet them - and what he wants to see from you to get there. This is something you should do in person, not by mail.

Just get a appointment with your boss to talk about your career. Outline how you want to develop yourself in the future and also how you expect your salary to develop. See if he can share your vision - if not, you know that you have to either cope with lesser goals or move on.

  • 2
    Bear in mind that the OP accepted a lower salary to ensure a good work-life balance. The implication is that other people are paid more for working longer/harder. Attempting to gain a higher salary while keeping that work-life balance might well be a difficult ask.
    – user44108
    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:27
  • That may be or not - he only writes some personal issues. There are several reasons why one would accept a job at lower-than-average pay at any time, and it does not mean one has to stay on that salary-levle forever. I am in no position to judge if the pay OP is receiving is fair, factored in his apparently better work condition. He needs to do that for himself. Anyway, the question was not Am I being paid enough but How do I ask for more
    – Daniel
    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:38
  • I don't see the OP getting a 30 to 40% raise using this approach.
    – Neo
    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:37
  • I don´t see the OP getting a 40% raise in any approach but again, that is off-topic. And who knows, if he really is underpaid and the boss knows this, maybe he wants to keep him ...
    – Daniel
    Mar 14, 2018 at 12:24

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