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5 Ways to Ask for a Raise in Asia

So you feel as though it’s time for you to get a raise. Is there a right way to go about it, and if there is, when should you do it?

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BY Jared Carl Millan - 30 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Like most subjects concerning money, asking for a raise can be tricky, primarily because you assign your value in the company to how much you make, and other people—your boss, supervisor, direct-line manager--don’t always see your value the way you do.

Nevertheless, you shouldn’t balk at the idea of bringing up the raise topic with them if you feel you deserve it. “If you don't have a company focused on your monetary value, then you need to bring it to their attention,” says John Thornton, director of talent at WorkVenture Thailand.

Yes, but how? Here are five pointers to help you get that coveted increase.

1. Know your comparative worth

Ask peers, colleagues, and even friends how much your job’s market value is, and how much they earn relative to yours. Not only is this a great way to keep up with the trends and developments in your field, but it will allow you to calculate objectively how much you should earn. It’s also important to do some self-evaluation: assess all the work you’ve thus far done for the company and ask yourself whether they’re of any real value. Remember, asking for a raise is in many ways asking the company to invest in you, so you have to make sure that you are a worthy investment.

2. Assess the company’s financial condition

It’s important to first evaluate if the company is growing. Thornton says: “Is the business in a sound state economically or are they in financial difficulties? Does your question of a raise fall under the company's salary review policy process? All of these questions have a significant bearing on the outcome.”

No matter how good you are at your job, the company won’t be able to compensate you properly if there are no means for it.

3. Wait for the right time

There’s a right time for everything, and it’s particularly true when it comes to asking for a raise. Never approach your boss out of the blue and demand that you be given a raise, even if you have all the evidence to back it up. Timing is key. The best times to bring the subject up is usually after the company has reached a goal, after you’ve taken new responsibilities, or you’ve successfully executed a project. Don’t do it when your boss is not in the best of moods or after the company has suffered a blow, whether that be financial or operational.

4. Prepare and present your case

If you believe that you do deserve a raise, then list down all the reasons for it, build a solid argument for each of them, and present it in a clear manner. Make it hard for your boss to ignore how invaluable you are to their operations. “Always work with facts when initiating a case for a raise,” says Thornton. “Go to the decision maker, typically the person who hired you, and then lay out your case backed up by data.”

5. Prepare for a Plan B

Asking for a raise means there’s a possibility for your request to be turned down, and if it does, it’s important that you don’t be discouraged. Instead ask what measures you need to take in order to get it, which areas you need to improve in, and when it’s appropriate to revisit the subject.

If you have tried several times to ask for a raise with no success, then you might want to consider exploring opportunities elsewhere. Repeatedly being turned down usually means there’s no advancement for you in the company, at which point it’s best to cut your losses. Sorry!

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