The economy's on the up and employers are looking to next year's budgets, hopefully with a slightly more positive attitude. So what better time to evaluate your worth to a company and push yourself to the next level. Asking your employer for a promotion or a raise can be a daunting situation to navigate. So we've come up with a 5-point strategy to make sure you're pitch perfect when it comes to crunch time. Do Your Research. This is crucial. Companies want to stay competitive. Make sure you know exactly what challenges the company is facing and how you can move them forward. This should not be an on the fly conversation, ensure you've done your homework and worked out what someone in your position should be earning. Be Realistic. That means knowing your limits. Register that there's a good and a bad time to ask for a raise. Get yourself in sync with the company's financial situation and present a compelling argument. Time it Right for Yourself. Strike while the iron is hot and ask for your raise after you've had a major success. Your achievements should be fresh in your manager's mind. Time it Right for Your Manager and Company. This could be when the business has just landed a new deal. Or maybe your company has just seen an upswing in quarterly revenue. Make sure you're diplomatic and ask your manager at a convenient moment. Be Flexible. If your manager is unable to offer you a raise, ask for other incentives. More vacation time, a flexible schedule, skill development opportunities or even stock in the company can all be big wins.