Bank account looking a little sparse at the moment? Well hang in there – you might be in luck.

Across the GCC, salary earnings are looking to increase by an average of 4.7 per cent in 2017, with a 4.6 per cent rise slated for the UAE.

Outsourcing company Aon Hewitt found that UAE firms on average saw a wage growth of 4.4 per cent in 2016, with employees receiving an average salary increase of 4.3 per cent.

While the salary bump in 2016 was positive, it was still slightly down from the anticipated 5 per cent rise.

Across the region, wages have been altered by fluctuating oil prices and the push to diversify national economies.

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According to Gulf News, the report stated: “While 2016 proved to be a challenging period for economic expansion in some markets, over the next few years new policies governing inflation, taxation, diversification and commodity pricing are anticipated to come into effect and lead to a general upswing in GCC salaries.”

Saudi Arabian companies have the highest projected bump in salaries for 2017 at an average of 4.9 per cent.

Qatar sits at the lowest end of the spectrum, with salaries expected to rise by 4.5 per cent.

Robert Richter, GCC Compensation Survey manager at Aon Hewitt Middle East, said: “Lower oil prices are likely to continue moderating the GCC’s economic growth this year, but a refreshed focus on non-oil sectors along with sustained programs of state investment should underpin GDP expansion into 2017.”

So, what can you do to bag that pay rise?

1. Make sure you deserve it.

A bit of an obvious one, but know your accolades when it comes to asking for a salary bump. Make sure you’re hitting your targets and fulfilling all your tasks – and you’re more likely to get the green light for a raise if you’re showing a willingness to go above and beyond the job spec.

If you’ve received other job offers, try to use them as leverage without being too aggressive. Be ready to take the other job offer if rebuffed by your boss!

2. Be realistic.

We’d all love to receive a 100 per cent raise, but if the company you’re working for doesn’t have much spare cash to begin with, don’t expect a big increase. Or in some cases, expect nothing at all until the company is on firmer footing. If your boss says they want to give you a raise but they don’t have the cash, try negotiating some extras instead, like increased annual leave. Be reasonable too – if you had a raise in the last six to nine months, best wait a while before asking for another.

3. Find the industry average.

Benchmark your salary against similar job positions in your industry. Determine what the average salary is, and how much you feel you should be getting paid. Use your research in negotiations, and initially ask for more than you expect. If you go in low, you’ll end up disappointed.

4. Review and know your work history.

Do you stay late regularly? Do you take initiative? Are you irreplaceable? The best time to ask is when your value to the company is clearly high, and you’d be tricky to replace.

5. Accept the response.

If your boss says no, don’t take it personally. Keep performing to the best of your ability, and try again next year. If your boss asks for some time to think, try to establish a follow-up meeting. If your boss says yes, congratulations!

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