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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ask the Boss

Q: What's the best way to ask your boss for a pay raise?

Margarita Gokun Silver, president of the Global Coach Center:

Use these four steps to create an effective display of your accomplishments and, thus, secure that pay raise.

"Step 1 -- Know your boss. Consider what is really important for your boss. What does he or she care about? Is it getting tasks done on time, a neat presentation, an effective management style, or strong initiative? Everyone's boss is different -- make sure you press the right buttons with yours.

"Step 2 -- Prepare your pitch. Now that you know what to highlight, make sure you make it very clear and in very few words how great you are. Rehearse, if needed.

"Step 3 -- Treat it seriously. Don't mention anything in passing. Schedule a meeting, setting an appropriate time and place. Sit down across from your boss -- don't even think of standing -- and create an effective rapport through your voice, your tone and your body language.

"Step 4 -- Go for it. Start by saying how much you enjoy your job, highlight your achievements in the area he or she cares about, and then ask. A good way to phrase it might be: 'What are your thoughts on giving me more responsibilities and increasing my compensation?' Stop there and listen for the answer."

Ilya Shershnev, CIS business development director for Swiss Realty Group:

I have always been firm but fair manager. I will never give a pay raise when the employee tries to threaten me or I feel any other related unethical moves. Never threaten your boss or set your request as an ultimatum.

"On the other hand, when you behave like this, you can achieve easy results and fast benefits, but lose some opportunities forever. It is the easiest way to change your career for little gain.

"In Swiss Realty Group we know that there are only two career paths: 'Up or Out.' The fastest-growing company always has people that grow faster or slower. In both cases they should leave one day. And in my opinion it is right to realize it from the first day you enter the office. So the best way to get a pay raise is to get a promotion together with chauffeured car and huge corporate expenses credit card.

"Never ask for anything. They will come and give it to you by themselves. I'm 100 percent sure it works. With your boss, girlfriend or customers."

Zhanna Dobritskaya, partner in Human Capital department, Ernst & Young:

The first thing a person should be able to do is demonstrate his achievements and give examples of excellent performance. He should demonstrate these in the course of work and also in the discussion about a pay raise.

"The employee should have some data showing that in the market his job is worth the pay level he is asking for.

"The absolutely ideal way is to say, 'I've looked at a number of a surveys, been to a conference where they presented surveys on salaries, and I noticed that for my salary level my pay is a bit low.'

"Demonstrate that it's not because the grass is always greener on the other side, but that there are real figures.

"The worst thing you can say is, 'I've worked here for X many years, I need to be paid more.'"