WE ALL feel the need to make more money than we are currently making, and there are two ways you can achieve this — by shifting to a better-paying company or by asking for a raise in your current job.

For most people, the second option works best, but how do you ask for a pay raise?

Given below are a few tips that can help you in your salary negotiation attempts:

1. Determine your worth

Finding out your worth in the marketplace is the first and the most important thing to do before you step out to ask for a raise.

Get in touch with career counselling agencies, read employment magazines and find out the salary range for your designation and experience in other companies.

There is often a large discrepancy between what you are getting paid and what the market rates are for people with your skill set and experience.

2. Make a performance-based request

If your performance has been consistently great and you have recently got good reviews from your employer, it is perhaps a good time to ask for a raise.

Show how you have always achieved targets or how you have added to the company’s productivity, and talk about your high ratings. Make your performance the basis of your request for a higher salary.

3. Do your homework

Make a list of all your achievements in the past year, such as your cost-saving methods, timely completion of projects, client and customer satisfaction, excellent reviews on your job, how your accomplishments have helped the company and so on.

If you have been putting in extra hours or working on public holidays, mention that also in your list.

Presenting your performance output in a documented form not only justifies your request for a pay raise, it is also a great way to impress your superiors.

4. Negotiate for better perks and other benefits

While your manager or employer may find it difficult to raise your salary at any given time, it is quite possible for him to give you more perks such as higher travel benefits or health and home rent allowances.

You can talk to your boss regarding this kind of arrangement if he feels a direct increase in pay might irk other employees. Remember, such benefits not only save you money on a lot of things, but they are exempted from tax too.

5. Get the timing right

If your company was hit by the economic crisis and has been on a cost-cutting spree, asking for an increase in salary can actually be the worst thing to do.

The best option in recessionary times is to work extra hard to generate more profits and devise cost-saving strategies that will help your company.

When the time is right, ask for a salary raise and show how your efforts helped in saving money and increasing profits for the company.