If you feel that you deserve a raise, it may be difficult to know how to approach the subject with your manager.  Here are four things to think about if you plan on trying, and give yourself the best chance to succeed.

 1.) Find out what is important to the company.  Your company experience along with understanding current priorities and company mission/vision will answer this question. It is within this context that you should prepare your pitch.  Are there any upcoming projects that could benefit from your expertise? Are you currently going above and beyond your current job description to perform a mission critical task?  Jot down bullet points that might support these thoughts.

 2.) Find out what will make your boss' job easier.  Are there things that you can do that will improve the reputation and performance of your boss?  I am not talking about brown-nosing here, but every boss likes an employee he/she can delegate to.  If there's a project or task that you think you can take on and show success, ask your boss to delegate it to you.  Then point to that success when asking for that increase.

 3.) Work on your "soft skills."  Technical, industry-specific skills are important to complete any job effectively. Believe it or not, upper management value higher those employees possessing good communication, negotiation, management, and leadership skills.  There are many books out there by authors such as Dale Carnegie that will help you understand and apply these skills to give you an edge over your peers, and make the raise conversation with your boss much easier for you.

 4.) Seek an opportunity to manage others.  Look for opportunities in your company where you can take a management or leadership role.  Is there a project that needs better organization? Maybe you see a functional office that could benefit from better leadership?  Can you organize a team building event, company party, or something else that requires coordination?  A success here will only add to your list of accomplishments that you can use as fuel when approaching your superiors.

Leveraging these strategies will help you get that raise you deserve, but this is certainly not a complete list.

Was there a particular strategy that worked for you? Have questions? Leave a comment below.