Before negotiating a raise, you need to understand one thing, says supermodel and entrepreneur Emme: How much you're worth.
If you're worth more than what you're currently being paid, shop around for other positions, Emme encourages. "While you have a job, start looking for another one — and when you get a really good job offer, go back to the job that you have … and let them have the opportunity to pay you more. Then you have a decision to make: Do you want to stay or do you want to go?"
She's not the only successful businessperson whose advice emphasizes first understanding what you're really worth.
As Ivanka Trump, formidable negotiator and founder of the Ivanka Trump Collection, writes: "Having an informed sense of your worth, as dictated by the broader marketplace, will give you greater confidence in requesting increased compensation. It's tough to dispute someone who can back up her assertions with facts and a smart, articulate argument."
Of course, at the end of the day, you'll have to come into a salary negotiation prepared to highlight your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments to justify what you're asking for. As Emme notes, if you switch industries or experiment with a different career, "you have to build up again and get back on the horse. There's an up and down to what you're worth."
Not sure how to evaluate your professional worth?
Start by looking at the salary range for someone with your background and level of experience in your industry or company. Try Glassdoor, Indeed.com, or Salary.com, which all offer free compensation and benefits information.