Brian Alden: You have been a loyal, hardworking employee, who has contributed the success of your company and now it's time to ask for the raise you deserve. Many people have been in your shoes and have successfully received the pay they deserve. Here are some tips on how you can get paid what you are worth.
First, do your research. Find out what the median income is for those who share your title by visiting a few different salary sites. Be sure that your job duties match those listed among the salary data.
Next, compile a list of accomplishments performed on the job. For most employers, showing up for work on time every day does not justify a pay increase. Whether you generate a quarter million dollars in sales or have driven substantial cost savings, you want to provide all the facts that support your request.
Also, think about a range you like your manager to consider, but be flexible. If the company doesn't have the budget to award you with a raise, perhaps a couple extra weeks of paid vacation or a flexible work schedule would work as an alternate form of conversation.
Once it's time to meet with your manager, don't be nervous. By simply asking and not demanding a raise, your manager will respect you for approaching the matter. However, be aware that he or she may have points of their own, so listen carefully so that you can respond accordingly.
Finally, don't be surprise if you don't receive an immediate answer. Your manager may need to think about your request or seek approval if they don't have the authority to give you your raise. Regardless of the outcome, be proud that you took the time to make your case. You will be better off for it in the long run. Good luck!