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28 February 2024

Revealed: The best – and the worst day – to ask for a salary hike in UAE

By Shuchita Kapur

Employees may be tempted to ask for a pay-hike just anytime, but there is a strong chance of it being turned down or put on the backburner if the timing is not perfect, believe experts in the field.

Headhunters advise to pick and choose a day carefully before approaching the boss for a salary increment.

Ask any boss and he ‘ll tell you that there’s never a good day to ask for a salary increase, but our panel of experts have studied the market enough to figure out which day of the week will be best for you to knock on the corner-room’s door.

So which is the best day in the week to do so in the UAE?

“While every company and hiring manager is different, generally speaking, it is best to ask for a pay rise in the UAE on a Wednesday or Thursday,” James Sayer, Director, Robert Half Middle East, told Emirates 24|7.

“Most managers want to go into the weekend with minimal conflict, as any feelings of upset or frustration may fester when away from the office for a couple of days,” he explains.

Now that’s not to say that your ‘unjustified’ pay-hike demands will be greeted with a nod on a Thursday – it’s just that your ‘justified’ requests may fall on a favourable ear on the day.

“The last working day of the week is always the best day to ask for a pay rise or the last working day of the month,” suggests Jennifer Campori, Managing Director, Middle East and Europe, Charterhouse Partnership.

“Month-end is usually a positive time for businesses and if you know the business is doing well, then this is a great time to ask for a salary review. The last day of week is always a good time to speak to your managers. It is the end of the week as people are generally on a high for the weekend and in a positive mood. Always have these conversations when the mood is positive,” she explained.

But remember to pop the question when you are performing considerably well (in the eyes of the boss, and not just your own), and the boss will be in a mood to listen to your demands.

“There is never a best day. I would say ask for a hike during a positive review or when you are outshining all your colleagues at work. Otherwise, keep it on a Thursday as everyone seems to be in a good mood. The end of the week is always preferred when things are winding down and managers and are in a more relaxed mood but this varies from one industry to the other,” said Krishna Patel, Managing Consultant, Media and Advertising at Quest Search and Selection.

“It would probably make sense off the back of a positive appraisal or quarter of recognised performance,” affirms Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at Huxley Associates.

Speaking of the worst days to shoot this question, it is the first day of the week or any time during midweek.

“The first working day of the week is always bad for meetings and requests. We are catching up on emails, business requests, etc., and most managers will not be as receptive on meetings the first working day of the week,” says Campori.

“Avoid midweek as this is often the time when managers are most stressed,” adds Sayer.

Besides Sunday being the worst pick, avoid raising this demand on days when business seems low or you have not been working as expected.

“Worst days would be when there has been a lot of bad news or if business or your personal performance has not been great. Sunday is bad because people are busy with other things,” adds Patel.


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