"In terms of negotiating your salary, the right time is yesterday," Sallie Krawcheck, co-founder and CEO of digital investment platform Ellevest, tells CNBC Make It. "And if you didn't do it yesterday, the right time is today."
Chances are, you'll be rewarded for asking: 84% of those confident enough to ask for higher pay succeed in getting it, Jobvite found in a 2017 report. Plus, in about a fifth of cases, negotiators were rewarded with a pay increase of 11-20%.
Negotiating salary isn't a one-and-done situation, says Krawcheck: "You should be engaging in these conversations pretty consistently, certainly every time you get a job offer." Companies rarely will initially offer the maximum they're willing to pay for your position, she adds, so it's worth it to negotiate right away.
If you're not switching companies, you should still be talking about raises and bonuses "all the time," she says. "Making sure this is part of an ongoing conversation with your boss is key."
That doesn't mean you have to have a serious, sit-down conversation with your manager every month, she notes. Start by discussing specific goals and expectations. That way, when it comes time to discuss your salary, you can actually show what you've accomplished and prove your value to the company.
You never want to assume that your hard work will be noticed, she adds: "Don't think, 'Oh, if I do a good job, Santa will bring me a present, and it will be a raise.'" Rather, "find those metrics that are relevant to your job that will help the company be better."
Personal finance expert Ramit Sethi agrees agrees that specificity helps. He recommends the "briefcase technique," a strategy in which "you literally open your briefcase and give a document to your boss with a clear and compelling rationale for why you deserve a raise."
"It's easy to tell your boss you've done great work and that you deserve a raise," he tells CNBC Make It. "But when you actually prove it — and explain how your work translates into more profit or savings for the company — you'll instantly grab your boss's attention."
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.