You can’t talk careers without talking money and one of the biggest questions has to be, “How do I get a pay rise?”

There’s no doubt that one of the best opportunities you have when it comes to getting a salary increase, is the salary negotiation that happens before you accept a job offer and join a new company. But what if you’ve been working somewhere for a little while already? What is the best way to ask for a pay increase then?

When it comes to getting a pay raise, the discussion can be daunting. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. But there are a few things to bear in mind that will put you in a much better position when you do decide to bring up the topic of a raise to your boss.

1.Get your facts straight and have clear reasoning

If you’re planning on asking for a pay increase solely on the basis of how long you’ve been at your company, then you might want to think again. Think about it, you’re probably not the only person that’s after more money, after all, how many people do you know that don’t want a pay increase?

With that in mind, imagine your the third person in a row to ask your boss for a raise. If all you have to tell her is that you’ve been with the company for a really long time, you can see how that’s unlikely to cut it. Your boss needs to be absolutely certain that money spent, is money well spent and it’s your job to help her see that.

So, before you do anything else, take a moment to asses yourself and your role, job description and responsibilities.  Consider the following questions:

Have you gone above and beyond what’s expected more often than not?

Has your role expanded or changed in anyway since you took it on?

Have you successfully delivered business critical projects or major change?

Have you taken on additional responsibilities outside of your role or remit?

How was your last performance review?

How long have you been with the business?

As you can see, the amount of time you’ve been at the company is a point you can note, but what’s more important is that you highlight to your boss the value you’ve added and show them what an asset you are to the organisation, because that’s what matters most.

2. Do your research & Know Your Worth

You’ve been doing an outstanding job and you’ve got your facts and figures to prove it. Don’t blow your opportunity when you do meet with your boss by being unrealistic with your requests. And you won’t know what an unreasonable request is if you haven’t done your salary research.

You can do salary research by checking the salaries of similar jobs in similar locations or get more accurate data using sites like Payscale, Glassdoor or using an agency salary checker like Randstad’s salary checker

When you’ve done the research you can come up with a figure based on the market and your own specific experience and value .

3. Pick your moment

They don’t say timing is everything for nothing and it’s important to pick the right time to discuss a pay rise. Of course, it might be a discussion your manager will never want to have. But even if that is the case, there are definitely better times than others. ( If you need to improve your relationship with your boss, read this)

Some obvious times to avoid might include-

the company just announced bad news

your boss just walked out of a meeting that didn’t go well

you’re underperforming

you’re in the ladies

you’re on a work night out

you’ve missed a number of deliverables just today

your boss is clearly on a deadline with her boss and seems super stressed

These are not the right moments and will almost guarantee that the discussion doesn’t go well, or most likely doesn’t happen at all.

4. Formalise it

If you want to make sure you have a god discussion, the best thing to do is to organise a meeting with your manager. Set a date and clear time and even let them know what the discussion is about. No one likes surprises, especially bosses. This way, you can both be prepared and in the right frame of mind.

5. Don’t give up and Consider Your Options

If you’ve already asked for a pay increase and it didn’t go your way, even though you did everything right. Don’t give up. Don’t assume that it will never happen because, it might just not be the right time at this moment.

The most important thing is to not put all your hard work to waste by giving up completely. Keep the lines of communication open on the topic and try and get a follow-up discussion in the diary.

Try to get to the bottom of why now isn’t the right time, so that this can inform your discussion going forwards.

Continue to gather your evidence of value, work hard and step up as much as you can before you meet again.

If a pay increase isn’t looking likely any time soon, why not consider discussing what might be instead, that would make the situation still a win-win.

Finally, however the discussion goes, it’s best to avoid making threats, that is, unless you’re definitely prepared to follow through.