Negotiating a raise can seem like a really daunting task, but if it's something you really want or need then it's a necessary process. As with most things in life there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Here are some tips on how you can make sure you're presenting yourself appropriately:
Choose Your Timing Carefully
Asking for the meeting with your boss for when you'll negotiate a raise is the important first step in the process. If you have a performance review coming up that would be an excellent time to negotiate a raise. However, if your company doesn't do performance reviews or yours isn't any time soon then wisely picking your timing is very important. Try to avoid really busy times for the company as your boss will probably be too preoccupied and stressed to fully give your request the attention it needs. If you've just performed really well during or a project or have just brought a lot of new business to the company then that would be the perfect time to really be able to highlight your accomplishments.
Do Your Research
Before your meeting with your boss make sure you're fully prepared. Do some research on what current and typical salaries are like for your position to establish how much you realistically think you deserve. Plan what you're going to say with the points you wish to make about why you think you've earned a raise. Focus solely on your accomplishments and contributions to the company and don't bring your personal life into the meeting. If things have changed financially for you that doesn't mean you deserve a raise, so you'll need to prove to your boss that your work is good enough to warrant one.
Be Willing to Compromise
Naturally you will have an idea in your mind of how much of a raise you want, but that doesn't mean you should only be willing to accept that. Remember that a raise can come in the form of more than just money, so if your boss is willing to offer you more benefits and perks then you should strongly consider being willing to accept them as they can be just as rewarding as extra money. If your boss seems hesitant to say yes to you be willing to offer to take on more responsibility and more work in return for what you're asking.
Remain Respectful and Professional
Remember when going into the meeting that you're the one who wants something and it's solely your responsibility to prove that you deserve it. Never make it sound like you're giving your boss an ultimatum or that you're demanding anything. Respectfully state your reasons for why you deserve the raise without making it seem like you're desperate for it. Listen to what your boss has to say and remain professional even if the answer isn't what you hope.