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By Elizabeth Benu

As we approach the end of the year we are all looking for greater things or even greener pastures in our careers.

If you have the perfect job you are probably looking for ways to make yourself a better sport in the coming year. It might be a decision to attend trainings or advance your education.

But one thing remains, a salary raise will be necessary to cater for all these needs.

Without further ado, is December really a good month to ask for a salary raise?

Beth Wanjira, a Recruitment Manager at Corporate Staffing Services Limited, opines that it can be a yes or no situation since there is no specific time to negotiate for a salary raise.

She explains that, “Companies have policies that govern how salaries, bonuses and incentives are given to their employees. So if there is a payment structure it is better to wait till the scheduled time. Most times this happens after a performance appraisal.”

For those that work in companies without a payment management structure, Ms. Wanjira advises to request for that raise.

“A salary negotiation for such a company can happen in any month. This is simply because there isn’t a structure,” she adds.

“If you are planning to ask for a salary raise this December do not make the mistake of not basing it on your year’s performance,” says Ms. Wanjira adding that, “A good annual performance gives you an upper hand during negotiation since there is actual evidence on your performance.”

She advises that, “Do not ask for the raise if you know that you have not performed to your level best. An employer is always looking to reward a performer.”

There are also those companies that offer bonuses at the end of the year. Ms. Wanjira warns against asking for a salary raise in December at such a company.

“This makes you appear greedy. For some a bonus is a privilege because it is will not always be there at the end of the year. Take the bonus and reconsider asking for the salary raise a few months later.”

“Not all financial years in companies start in January, so knowing the company structure comes in handy before you negotiate for a salary,” she says adding that, “Ask yourself; ‘Are there any high chances of getting a raise is I ask?’”

She says that this helps you assess the right time to ask for the raise.

“Do not peg a salary negotiation on December just because it is end of year. If you have to do it let it be based on performance and do not make demands of how and when you want it,” she recommends.

She also adds that, “Request for it and ask whether it is possible soon or how long you should wait to get it.”

She concludes by saying, “You better have performed really well this year in order to back your request. A concrete top performance will always advocate for an increment.”

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