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How do I ask for a pay raise?

Source: Getty Images/Pekic

You have the tenure, the skills and the dedication. Can you ask for a raise even if times are uncertain? Finance expert Michelle Baltazar gives advice on the dos and don'ts of asking for a pay increase.

'May PERAan' is SBS Filipino's new podcast series which features financial experts seeking to answer the most common questions about money and finances.


"When I was starting in my job, I was scared to ask for a raise or even talk about my job performance," Finance expert Michelle Baltazar shares, adding, "This is normal - we don't really have training to negotiate for a raise. Part of the trepidation is we don't know how to do it."

To lessen this trepidation, Michelle gives tips on what you should and shouldn't do when asking for a pay raise.


  • Generally, an employee can ask for a pay raise every two years.
  • Keep records of your achievements every three months and request for a pay review.
  • Try to keep your emotions out of the negotiation. 

1. DO ask

Michelle says there's no good time to ask for a raise. Whether or not we are in the middle of a pandemic, you have the freedom to enquire about it.

"Women generally don't ask for a raise," Michelle shares.

"But remember that tenure is an advantage. Your knowledge about the company and experience matter.

"In general, you can ask for a raise every two years. In some industries, you can ask every year."

2. DO ask for a pay review

"Typically, employees are presented with KPIs (key performance indicators) at the beginning of the year. These are the objectives of the company that you need to meet.

"Ask for a pay review to talk with your boss about your strengths and about the things you need to work on."

Prior to talking with your manager or boss, Michelle suggests keeping a record of your achievements every three months and reading the employee handbook regarding how performance reviews are dealt with.

3. DO research industry standards

"A lot of companies give you the rate of inflation - anywhere between 2-5% is reasonable amount to ask because standard of living changes," Michelle shares.

She adds that it's best to research online how much salary your particular job gets per year before asking for a raise. 

4. DON'T be emotional

While negotiating a raise can be emotional, MIchelle urges going through the process in a professional way.

"Have the right mindset. Don't get emotional walking into your boss' office, act like you deserve a raise and walk out of frustration," Michelle says.

5. DO prepare for different outcomes

Michelle shares that while you'll get a positive outcome 80% of the time, make sure to be prepared just in case things don't go your way.

"Prepare your CV just in case your company doesn't appreciate or recognise your work. You might need to look elsewhere. Make sure you have savings as well, just in case.

"If your company is having a difficult time because of COVID, you can negotiate work flexibility. You can ask to work four days a week instead of five, or ask to be given the opportunity to have a side hustle." 


Disclaimer: This article is for general information only. For specific financial advice, you should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information here relates to your unique circumstances.

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