The job market is a competitive place, and you need to be tough if you want all the payment you deserve. In the business world, it’s certainly the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. If you accept whatever payment you’re offered without complaint, then your managers will think they can keep your wages down. If you speak up for yourself, on the other hand, you can get the raise you deserve.

With that being said, there is a right way and a wrong way to approach your boss about getting a raise. If you’re obnoxious or belligerent, you’re more likely to earn a dismissal than a bump in pay. The key is to be strong but respectful. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you prepare to broach the subject with your boss.

Determine What You Need And What You Want

Before initiating a conversation, you have to form a categorized list of your demands, separated into what you’d like to have and what you absolutely need. Perhaps you’d like additional paid time off and stock in the company. These belong in the “like to have” category. But then it’s the wage increase and improved benefits that are truly necessary if you’re going to continue at the company. These go in the “absolutely need” category, and will be the cornerstone of your negotiations.

Do Some Market Research

Nothing will boost your chances in negotiations like solid proof that your demands are legitimate. If you come armed with statistics showing typical salaries for people in your position, you’ll force your boss to take your petition seriously. With just a few hours of research online, you can compile all the data you’ll need.

Consider How Much Power You Have

Before you sit down to talk, you need to determine whether or not you’re negotiating from a position of strength. If you have another job option or are willing to quit, then you can be bolder about insisting on your key demands.

Have A Salary Range In Mind

Have a general idea in your mind of what kind of a raise you’re looking for. You don’t need an exact figure, but you should have some sort of a range to aim for.