Could it be you’re being paid the going rate already? "Check market rates for similar roles in comparable companies. How competitive is your current rate of pay and how realistic are your expectations?" says Alan Andrews at Kis Finance. Sites such as Glassdoor have salary figures for many jobs that have been submitted by actual employees. And make sure you check the company is in good financial health – sadly in the current situation many firms are cutting back rather than expanding.
If you decide to go ahead, make sure you’ve done your planning. Experts are unanimous on this. If your boss is open to the idea of discussing it, then you need to have your numbers ready to pitch. John Lees, careers expert and author of How to Get a Job You Love, says: "Consult recruiters, and colleagues to find out the pay range for your job. Then pin down the skills you need to claim the top 10% of that pay range. Remember that it’s probably more expensive for your employer to replace you than to give you a small pay rise."
Think of asking for a pay rise like a business proposal, says lawyer Karen Holden, who set up her own firm after negative experiences at work. "Why do you deserve it, how will the company benefit from this and what will you be doing extra to justify this expense?" she says.
Your employer doesn’t need to know why you might need money, just that you deserve more. John Lees says: "Don’t be tempted to talk about what you ‘need’ financially, or about your financial commitments. Talk about the value you add. Spell out your ‘offer’ first, and then back off. Find out what your employer is prepared to put on the table. Even if your employer asks ‘What did you have in mind?’ it’s worth at least one attempt to find out what might be possible."
"You may not get an instant answer, and it is best to allow your manager some time to consider their decision," adds Alan Andrews. "However, don’t leave the meeting without a clear agreement on the timescale for a decision to be made."
Now read these expert tips on how to ace an online job interview
Or see the jobs that will exist for decades to come