Ceniza-Levine recommends making an effort to understand what's customary for your market in terms of compensation. "If you have data that shows people are being better compensated for roles similar to yours, that's social proof you're underpaid," she said.
Danny Cahill, president and CEO of recruiting firm Hobson Associates and author of Harper's Rules: A Recruiters Guide to Finding a Dream Job and the Right Relationship, agrees. "When asking for a raise, you should have at least two white papers sourced from a site such as Careerbuilder.com showing what someone of your skill-set, experience and education is making at other companies," he said.
Sunny K. Lurie, PhD, CEO and founder of Fast Focus Careers, recommends employees document their results and accomplishments for the past year or two before asking for a raise. "Be prepared to discuss how your contributions impact the organization," she said.
Cahill recommends having quantifiable data showing how you either saved the company money or made the company money.
Set yourself up for a raise by becoming the office enthusiast. "As industries change and companies try new ideas to remain in business, they need people who enjoy learning new information and sharing ideas," Lurie said. "This type of employee is priceless to organizational growth. Mention the specific information you shared and how it helped the organization grow."
Finding it difficult to muster up enthusiasm? Check out this article to evaluate whether your job is right for you.
Before asking for a raise, it's important to have a plan. First, decide how much you want to ask for. Then, figure out if you want to phrase it as a dollar amount or percentage.
Next time you ask for a raise, focus on your accomplishments and skills, and avoid exaggerating job offers or threatening to quit. Let your talents and charm speak for themselves.
It can be difficult to separate business and emotions. According to Ceniza-Levine, your accomplishments should be highlighted by their business impact, including costs saved, revenue generated and profits increased. "Be very clear about how your contribution leads to bottom line impact."