You may feel with every fiber that you deserve more pay, but make no mistake as you walk into your boss's office: arguing effectively for a raise requires logic, facts and knowing what to do if you're turned down.
This might be a good time to ask for a pay bump. A recent survey by the advisory firm Towers Watson showed that most companies plan to increase pay some 3% this year. Your raise this year can also mean money down the road, since your future salary increases often ride on a percentage of what you earn now. How to ask? Before you negotiate, prepare a number and a vision of what you want.
"What's the average pay for [your] position?" says Mary Beth Storjohann, advisor at Workable Wealth in San Diego. "Where can you move to in the company?"
"It's your job to supply your boss with the objective data that establishes your value in the company," says Ann Daly, Ph.D., a career and executive coach for women in Austin. That means two tactics in particular, she adds.
"First, documenting your measurable contributions to the organization," she says. "What's most important to your boss? What are the company's top priorities or initiatives? How are you helping to move the needle? How can you measure that?"
"Second," Daly adds, "you should always keep abreast of your value in the marketplace. Besides online searches, your professional organization usually does annual salary surveys - just another excellent reason to get and keep involved with professional organizations."