Dos and Don’ts When You Ask for a Salary Raise

March 15, 20173:15 pm3314 views

You might be all passionate in what you do for a living and dedicated to give your best to meet professional and personal development goals. While you want to hold this idealism high, there are times when you have to be realistic about your true value and future worth. If you think that your monthly paycheck no longer matches with the efforts you put in your job, or your compensation needs some reconsideration, it is time for you to negotiate a salary raise.

Most companies have annual appraisals and performance review programs to reconsider the emoluments offered to employees, weighing on their performances within a particular period of time, while some others do have specific organisation policies, but there are many others who do not comply with these performance appraisal considerations.

If your employer does not have such a policy, then asking for a raise is the only solution to improve your financial and emotional wellbeing. Nonetheless, negotiating every dollar and cent for the job done, often exceeding targets and expectations set by the employer is an intimidating exercise in your career journey for better financial prospects. The problem is, you might be anxious or even afraid of your manager’s response toward your request.

If you need some help on tactful ways of negotiating salary raise, here are some dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind:

See: Salary Increases in Hong Kong Will Remain Static in 2017


Make a plan. The main point before you ask for a salary raise is only when you feel you deserve it. Therefore, before calling your boss for a discussion, you should take time to contemplate why you deserve such a raise.

Provide relevant reasons. Be professional and provide pertinent explanations that supports your argument. Before entering the meeting room, you have to make sure that you are prepared with necessary stuffs that will support your reasons. To convince your employer that you deserve it, you will need to compile your proof of achievements, significant contributions, and excellent performance reviews.

Arrange a meeting schedule. Asking for salary raise is different from a casual meeting you hold at every other time. Therefore, notify your boss in advance that you want to have a private discussion with them, so they can schedule some time off their packed daily schedule. The best time to ask for a raise is after successful projects or positive performance reviews.

Understand the review policy. It is important for you to do your homework well, research about your company’s review policy before you demand certain amount of raise. Do your homework to find out as much as possible information about average salaries in your field, on the same level, and throughout the region, so you can have better insight about your position in the industry.


Ask via emails. Something confidential such as salary raise negotiation should never be discussed via emails. Not only unethical, people might interpret written words differently than your initial intention. If this happens, you will get bad reputation instead of a good pay raise.

Threat or bluff your boss. It is okay to be persistent, but don’t go overboard or your boss will see you as being annoying instead. You might have strong reasons why you need a salary raise. However, don’t be overly emotional when your boss responses do not meet your expectations. Unless you want to lose your job, you should not threat or bluff your boss with any kind of harsh ultimatum.

Negotiate during heated times. Consider your company’s current condition before you ask for pay raise. Tight deadlines and busy agendas are the heated period, where your boss will feel stressed and overworked, and you should avoid such times. It would be wiser to take some time and wait patiently, until they showcase good mood.

Get intimidated by gossips. Money-related issue often brings up the most sensitive discussion among work peers. Just because you hear that your co-worker gets higher salary than you do, despite both of you working on the same project, does not mean that you too can demand for a salary raise. Don’t get intimidated or provoked by baseless gossips, just focus on your own work quality and allow your success to do the talking for you.

The very idea of confronting your manager face-to-face and discussing about appraisal or salary review is enough to make you feel uneasy. However, negotiating your pay is crucial to keep you motivated at work, while helping your boss assess your work progress and quality.

Even if the answer is a ‘No’, you should believe that salary topics are an ongoing discussion. If you cannot get it now, there will always be another time to talk it out. The trick is to keep your cool while improving your performance, such that your employer will give it to you voluntarily without further requests.

Read also: Financial Services Sector in India to See the Highest Average Salary Increase of 6% in 2017

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