(Photo Credit: 401(K) 2013/Flickr)
1. Write it down.
Don't count on the boss to notice what you've been doing, and don't rely on your memory to help you come up with your accomplishments, come review time. The only way to be sure that you're not hiding your light under a bushel is to write everything down -- every project completed, every deadline met, every dollar saved.
2. Use your math.
Most companies are in the business of making money, and all companies are in the business of saving it. Whenever possible, connect your accomplishments to a dollar amount. Nothing is more persuasive than cash.
3. Do your research.
How much do your peers make, with your experience and title and in your geographic area? PayScale's Research Center will arm you with the knowledge you need to make your case.
4. Update your resume.
Even if you love your job and your company, it's a good idea to keep your CV up-to-date. Why? Well, for one thing, it keeps you thinking about your role in a competitive way; for another, it shows that you're prepared, should your manager request a copy while considering a new job title to go along with a potential raise. Finally, if things don't work out, it's one less thing to do while preparing to look for another job.
Think it goes without saying? Think again. Especially if you opt to wait until performance review time, your litany of accomplishments might not say, "I'd like a raise" -- at least not as clearly as asking for one directly. Be polite, but direct. Don't expect your boss to read your mind.
Want to get your career on track in 2014? Sign up for PayScale's Make It Happen email course. It offers the tools you need to get a raise, get a promotion, get hired, and get better at your job.
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