As the calendar turns over to a new year many employees turn their attention to their jobs and more importantly, their salaries. With companies beginning their new budgets and often having extra money, now is the time when many people decide to bring up the dreaded question of a raise.

Asking for more money from your employer can be nerve wracking and often a treacherous navigation through dangerous waters, but if done properly it can be extremely rewarding in the financial sense. Here are some basic tips to succeed (and survive) the request process.

Know your worth

Employers like numbers and data, not ideological arguments like “ I am the heart and soul of the team.”  When asking for a raise, come prepared with data on how much revenue you have brought in or money saved, or how many positive changes you have brought about in the company.  Your goal is to re-sell yourself to the company.

Choose the right moment

Money is always a sensitive issue. You will want to approach your supervisor at the right time to ask for more money in your paycheck. So avoid asking in the staff kitchen or in an informal moment. Find a less busy time of the day or week and ask your supervisor if you can meet with them.  When the time comes for the meeting, if you sense your supervisor is busy or stressed out, ask them if they can meet another time.

Don’t complain or make threats              

Asking for money is a moment when you must above all else be professionally composed. Pointing out that you have not had a raise in X amount of months/years or that other people had larger or more frequent raises are bad strategies. Additionally, saying that you have other job offers or companies on the table that will pay more is a quick way to get yourself sacked.

Avoid sob stories

All supervisors are human beings and have a heart (as hard as they may seem to believe at times), but again, this is a professional setting and conversation. Avoid stories about how many children you have or hardships outside of work.  Instead talk about your accomplishments.

Look to the future

In addition to focusing on your recent accomplishments, talk to your supervisor about your plan for the coming year and how you fit into the company’s future. What new responsibilities do you want? What are your goals? This shows an employer that you are not a mercenary, but rather “in it to win it” with them and therefore worth an increased investment.

Have a Plan B

If you cannot get a raise, propose an alternative form of compensation such as more paid time off or a better healthcare plan.  Of course, the easiest way to get a raise is to find a better paying job.

Hopefully these tips help to make 2016 a more financially rewarding year for you!