Every single day, millions and millions of people get hired by multiples companies and firms from all over the world. Naturally, a great portion of this number also gets fired every passing hour. But if we had to compare proportions, the amount of people who manage to talk their way into a raise is definitely the smallest.

When you first start working for a company, only three things can happen on the long run. The first option leaves you in the exact same position you were when you began. Alternatively, you can get fired for no reason or because you’ve become a liability in some manner. However, there is also a chance you get promoted or, at least, a raise in your salary. Needless to say, most employees will pick the raise if given a chance to choose.

In fact, a recent study made the U.S Bureau Of Economic Analysis and published by Trading Economics portrays that salaries in the U.S are not showing any kind of particular growth in the last years.

As you can see, the biggest increase in average salaries occurred near the end of 2012 and hit its lowest approximately one year later. Since then, the situation has been pretty much stuck in the same place, growing and decreasing constantly without showing a remarkable tendency towards any of the sides.

Unfortunately, getting a raise can sometimes be even harder than it sounds. The amount of factors and variables that have an impact on your employer’s decision is so vast, it’s almost impossible to be 100% sure whether the outcome will be favorable. Nevertheless, there are some things you can take into consideration in order to, at least, increase the chances of getting that raise you want so badly.

Have you been in the company long enough?

You can be completely sure employers are outraged by people who think they deserve a raise after five or six months. An important part of deserving a raise is being loyal to the company, and the only way to prove that is spending a significant amount of time working for them. If you’ve spent more than a couple of years and have still not gotten an important promotion, you can be sure it’s time to act. If you try to rush things you might end up losing the job you worked so hard to get

Are you worth it?

When asking for a raise, you have to imagine for a second you are in your employer’s shoes. Now ask yourself: Would it be cheaper/more convenient to give me a raise or fire me? If you consider you are indispensable to the company, then you can go ahead to your employer’s office and respectfully ask for a raise. However, if you feel you are just one more employee and have no reason to be promoted, your best bet is to work your way to a raise. Making a self-evaluation will always be a tough task, for you have to leave your ego aside and objectively decide whether you are worth it. If you feel you are biased (for obvious reasons) you can ask a coworker to give you a hand.

Don’t mention your previous salary

We can guarantee your employer has absolutely no interest in knowing how much you earned in your previous job. Phrases like “My goal is to make as much as I did when I worked for X” might be considered an offense for some people. Keeping a low profile and knowing your place as an employee of THAT company is the first step towards convincing your boss you deserve more. If not, you will seem cocky and, if your boss is in a bad mood that day, there are great chances they will consider your dismissal.

Don’t be too aggressive

No matter how much you may think you deserve a raise, showing an aggressive conduct will get you nowhere when you’re in front of your employer. Bear in mind that people with higher positions often deal with a lot of stress, which is why and insolent approach is the last thing they want on the other side of their desk.

Timing is everything

As you could expect, companies oftentimes go through rough times. Whether it is a global condition or an inside issue, the company will not be able to make unnecessary expenses during that time period. For that reason, asking for a raise when your company is not in its best moments is definitely a bad idea. Your best option is to wait until the situation has gotten better or, at least, has cooled off. If not, you are guaranteed to be turned down by your boss immediately as you make an offer. Bear in mind we are not advising you to be an opportunist, for that would also play against you. Just avoid being insensible when asking for a raise and your chances of getting what you came for will be increased significantly.

Be ready to explain

When you ask for a raise you must be ready to explain why you think you deserve to earn more. For that reason, it is a good idea to make a complete evaluation of your performance during the latest months. Prepare a vast number of arguments that reasonably explain why you are worth more than you are getting paid. If you go into your employer’s office and tell them you need a raise because you are running low on cash, you might as well kick yourself out of the room. Just think: what do you do when you’re selling a product? You explain all the reasons why that particular object or service is their best option in the market, and why they should pay the price you have set. Asking for a raise is the exact same, you are reselling your services to someone who already knows you. Take advantage of that and use it to your favor.

Sometimes, money isn’t everything

No matter how prepared you might be, there is the possibility that you will be turned down immediately. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything’s lost. You still might get more benefits in exchange for being denied a larger salary. While it’s true that you went into that office looking for a better paycheck there is nothing wrong with being provided with a better insurance coverage.

Always be confident

Do you really believe you deserve a raise? If the answer is yes, then that should be shown through your body language. If you head into your employer’s office with a sweaty forehead and a shaky voice, you will be seen as a person with no confidence. As you might expect, it is very unlikely that you convince your boss if you cannot even convince yourself.

Don’t be afraid to throw a number

Fear of getting rejected is human beings’ worst enemy. If you were confident enough to stand up in front of your boss and ask for a raise, you should be confident enough to say a number. It doesn’t matter if you play it to high. Your employer will most likely turn you down in a polite manner and make a counteroffer right away. If you mention a number in the meeting, you will be seen as a confident person who is not afraid to ask for more. And, most importantly, you will be perceived as a person who knows exactly how much they are worth.

Don’t even mention your coworkers

Your coworkers’ salary is none of your business, so there is no reason why you should mention them. Comparing yourself to other people (especially to those who make more than you) is one of the worst things you could do when asking for a raise. Chances are they have a much better performance than you, and you can be completely sure your employer won’t be afraid to say that if you are bold enough to play the “unfairness” card.

The most important thing you must know is that there is no secret formula when it comes to asking for a raise. It all depends on your current situation and how well your company is doing. If you get a “no” as an answer, by no means should you be discouraged to keep doing your best every day of your life. On the contrary, you must prove your value with actions, not with words.