Do your due diligence - look at the financial health of the company you are working at - are you in a startup without investor funding? Has your company just merged or been acquired? You can't always gain an idea of financial health from what you see, do some of your own digging to get to grips with exactly where the company sits and what might lie ahead.
Make a strong case - outline what you've contributed to the organisation, presenting concrete achievements and recent successes.
Have a concrete figure in mind. Don't just vaguely ask for a 'pay rise' - put an actual number on the table, do the research and find out what you are worth.
What kind of language should you use when asking for a pay rise?
Avoid emotional or subjective language such as 'I want' or 'I need' and instead use phrases like 'I've achieved' or 'I deserve'.
It's vital you to frame your request as a business argument, not one that stems from personal desire or needs.
How do you start the conversation? Organise a proper meeting with your boss or manager, as opposed to trying to just grab a few minutes with them on the fly.
When setting up the meeting, make sure you clearly state what the purpose of the meeting is - nobody likes being blindsided, and you'll probably fare better if your boss has had a chance to preparers well.
Once you're in the meeting, thank them for taking the time to meet and then dive straight into the fact that you'd like to talk about your compensation package.
Approach salary negotiations as a discussion. Instead of thinking about them as a black and white request that is going to be either a 'yes’ or a 'no' frame the situation in your head as a conversation between two people with a common end goal.
Most managers don't want to lose decent employees and are inclined to try to find a solution that everyone's happy with.
Should you ever threaten to leave? - Never threaten to leave if you're not fully prepared to follow through. There's no guarantee it'll work, and you might end up in the awkward position of either having to follow through on a threat made in haste, or staying put and undermining your position.
What should you do if you think you're being underpaid?
Do your research to identify what positions like yours can earn. Evaluate your earning potential - look at your skills compared to the average, years of service, education, extra training in relation to your job location, sector etc.
Every year Creative Recruiters has done a salary survey - it’s located on our website.
Never compare yourself to someone else in the company or say that you know that someone is making $X amount so therefore so should you. This is not about anyone else in the company except you.
Now go in and ask for what you deserve and be confident about it.