How To Ask For A Raise Fearlessly And Professionally

asking for a raise

Bhoomika Ghaghada Career

In light of the recent report from Gulf News, “UAE salary guide 2015: Are you being paid enough?”, a guide on ‘how to ask for a raise politely without running the risk of sounding too demanding’ has been well in order. So, here is a compilation of guidelines based on scientific research, all while bearing workplace etiquette in mind.

In the title, I’ve added ‘professionally’ since hard-headed fearlessness may come off as cockiness to your management. It’s not as simple as swallowing your fear, asking for a magic number and watching the money multiply. You have to be smart about it. There are several factors that pay a key role determining how your raise request is received, as stated in this Gulf News report:

“Value of contribution, length of service, profitability of the company, the economy, salary banding for the requisite position, as well as the manner of the salary increase request are all critical criteria for an employer to consider.”  – Christo Daniels

When, how much and how to ask are the first three questions you need to dig into.

When to ask for it?

Firstly, be mindful of what the country’s economy looks like – if you’re in recession, usually a bad idea to ask for a raise. Secondly, make sure your company is collecting profits at this time. Thirdly, tick the ‘time’ box and ensure you’ve been with the company for [at the very, very least] a year.

No-brainer: Make sure you ask for it after a good performance review or at the time listed in your contract for a salary re-evaluation.

A note to fresh graduates: do not hesitate to negotiate a higher salary at your first job because it will be the benchmark for future employers to top.

How much to ask for?

Firstly, don’t ask for a round number – instead, ask for a number like AED 18,350 [Seriously, it makes a difference]. Research, as reported in The Wall Street Journal, shows that when negotiating a salary, a more specific initial number “results in a higher final settlement”. The logic being that your employer will realize that the precision of the request stems from research, knowledge and you knowing what you’re worth [down to the decimal].

On that note, know what you’re worth! Conduct research – thorough research – to find out how much others in your position and field are getting paid. This will tell you how much of a pay increase will be considered reasonable. Additionally, make a comprehensive list of your activities that added value to the company in monetary terms – how many additional responsibilities you’ve taken on, how much productivity increase can be traced back to you, and what changes you have brought to process and/or results at your firm. You have to be calculative about it.

How to ask for it?

It’s cool and collected logic. A moving speech about your work ethic will not cut it [sadly]. Be careful about the words that you use, and be confident [but not too confident]. Prepare and practice a presentation that gives your manager/employer facts about your performance and contribution to the company.

Unfortunately, the manner in which women need to deal with these conversations is different: if they appear demanding, they risk their relationships with superiors turning sour. As the NYTimes reports, “A new study concludes that women need to take a different approach than men. Women, it suggests, should frame their requests in more nuanced ways to avoid undermining their relationship with their boss.” The general advice here, to the women, is to express how much you care about the company – do not make yourself the prime focus of the conversation. Explain why it is a good move from an organizational or managerial perspective [We are supposed to be caregivers, remember?].

So march in, level-headed, well-informed and completely prepared and you’ll be good to go. Good luck!

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