As an employee who has been loyal to your company, shows up on time day after day, and puts your heart and soul into your job, you know when the time has come to ask for a much-deserved raise in pay. Yet while most employees have this idea in their heads at some point during their careers, surveys have shown that less than 40 percent actually follow through with this request. If you’ve decided your hard work and dedication merit an increase in your paycheck, here are some useful strategies for how to ask for a raise and actually get it.

Pick the Best Time to Ask

First, remember that there are certain times when you’ll have a much better chance of getting a raise. Generally, the best times to sit down with your boss for this discussion are after you’ve completed an important project for your company, you’ve been given additional responsibilities or during performance reviews when you’re being given plenty of accolades. Also, keep in mind that it’s never a good time to ask your boss for a raise when they are under lots of stress, since they’ll already have plenty on their plate. Use your common sense and choose your moment wisely.

Research Salary Trends

One of the best ways you can get a yes answer to a request for a raise is to conduct plenty of research regarding salary trends in your area. If other workers who have the same type of job as you are making more money, it’s reasonable that you should expect your salary to be just as competitive. If you can go into the meeting with your boss and have verifiable information about salaries, chances are you can emerge from the meeting with that all-important raise.

You’ve Got Another Offer

If you are looked at by your boss as being indispensable to their company’s success, telling them the competition has made you another offer that features higher pay may be just the thing that gets you that raise. Since managers and business owners realize how hard it is to hire and keep great workers in today’s economy, this can give you a tremendous amount of leverage during negotiations. However, don’t make the mistake of telling your boss you have another offer when you really don’t. Otherwise, you may be put in an awkward position should they wish you the best of luck in your new job.

List Your Accomplishments and Qualifications

While your boss may know you have brought plenty to the company since you were initially hired, they may tend to forget specific things you have done over the years. When you decide to ask for a raise, go into the meeting with an extensive list of your accomplishments and qualifications. Once your boss is reminded of everything you’ve done and how well-qualified you are for your current job, they may be more likely to give you that raise. If your meeting goes especially well, you may even get a promotion as well.

Have a Specific Number in Mind

When asking for a raise, don’t do so until you have a specific number in mind. If you do, things probably won’t go as well as you would hope. On average, studies indicate employers in 2023 expect to give out raises of three percent to their employees. While at first this may not sound like much, it may make a bigger difference than you realize. Remember, you will be going into your meeting to negotiate a new salary for yourself. By having a number in mind beforehand, you’ll be able to negotiate a more favorable outcome.

Act Confident

When you ask for a raise, it’s important that you act confident during the meeting. However, this does not mean you should come across as if you’re trying to bully your boss into giving you a raise. To walk this fine line, remember to always thank your boss for agreeing to meet with you, be willing to listen to their side of things, and always be cordial as you are negotiating your raise. Once your boss is able to see for themselves how valuable and polite an employee you really are, you may soon find yourself with a much bigger paycheck.

Be Ready For Pushback

Unless your boss has already given thought to offering you a raise in the near future, you will likely get some pushback. The instinctive answer from your boss will be no, followed by one or more reasons why not. Before your meeting, put yourself in you boss’s frame of mind. Imagine all the reasons why they might refuse your raise, and then come up with answers for all of them. This way, you’ll be better prepared to respond to excuses, which will make it harder for your boss to deny you.

Don’t be Greedy

Once your boss acquiesces, don’t be greedy and try to get more. You might think you asked for too little if they agree right away. But being greedy will make you look very bad. If the raise is paltry, however, and not in line with what the market is paying for your job, it’s okay to ask your boss to step it up a bit. But don’t go “whole hog” and try to get much more than what you truly deserve. In other words, be gracious, accept a fair number and continue to do a brilliant job so you can get another raise in the future.

Once you finally decide to ask for a raise, it’s vital that you keep each of these steps in mind. The more documentation you have about why you deserve a raise, the better. When you combine this with a positive attitude, an air of self-confidence, and a willingness to let your boss know you understand their perspective as well, chances are all of this will result in a higher salary.