You're killing it at work, and you're ready to make more.
Before you ask your boss to meet to discuss money, do these five things to boost your chances of a fatter paycheck. And if that meeting doesn't go the way you'd like, you'll be in a great position to send out your resume and earn more with a different company.
Start by benchmarking your salary against others in your industry. That way you'll know where you stand among your peers.
Your company might list pay ranges. Whether you're an associate or a senior associate might affect how much you make. "Talk to a mentor, a former boss or former colleagues," said Vicki Salemi, career expert at jobs search site Monster.com.
Your specific industry and where you live may affect salary. If you're an HR professional in finance, say, or at a nonprofit, that will definitely drive different pay scales.
"Reach out to people you know, as well as national professional organizations," Salemi said. "Go to a local chapter event.
"Tell members you are doing your due diligence on salary ranges," she added. "You may want to join the organization."
Next, thoroughly understand how you've exceeded your role. You cannot simply declare, "I'm doing my job and I deserve a raise."
Make a list of the ways you excel at your job. "If you can quantify things, all the better," Salemi said.
You should be able to go into that meeting with solid, specific information: You found less-expensive vendors and saved the company money. You brought in new clients and helped the company make money.
Don't forget internal value, as in "the clubhouse or locker room presence," said Salemi. "Are you that go-to person who others can count on?"
An always-positive attitude that makes people say you're a joy to be around is meaningful. If you're the can-do type when the printer cartridge needs to be changed or a bagel breakfast needs to be planned, jot it down.
If you go the extra mile to train new staffers, help plan events and wipe up around the coffee area, these count toward your added value.
Nervous? Practice your pitch so it gets easier. "Talk into your phone, talk to a friend, do a mock conversation," Salemi said.
Be ready for a range of responses, from your boss agreeing you are valuable and deserve more to your boss saying the budget just isn't there even though your points are valid.
"Go in knowing you may not get a yes or a no," Salemi said. "The no is usually quick, and a yes will take follow-up."
Be sure to mark your calendar with reminders to ask what the status is. If you do get a raise, ask when it will be implemented, and if it is retroactive.
Believe it or not, a quick, definite no is good news.
It sounds counterintuitive ("What? No raise?") but now you know where you stand, Salemi said. "You know what your worth is, and you've quantified your accomplishments."
If you've been put off with mentions of a hiring freeze, or an across-the-board ban on raises, you definitely want to start thinking about looking for a new position in a new company — and thanks to your groundwork, you are in a great position to find something better.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.