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Knowing whether or not it’s the right time to ask for a pay raise is always challenging. However, before talking to your employer and asking for more money, there are a few things that you need to do first.

Before approaching your employer and asking for a pay increase, you must research. Start by researching what the industry standard of pay is for your position. You’ll also want to list everything you do for the organization that is above and beyond the standard duties and pay. When you ask for a raise, show your employer that your value is higher than what you’re being paid. An important thing to remember is that your primary objective as an employee is to earn the company more money than they’re paying you. So, you must make a list to prove to your employer that you will still be earning the company money even with the pay increase.

After you’ve completed your research and proposal, book an appointment to meet with your employer. Refrain from blindsiding your manager and ensure that you have their full attention. If you walk into their office during a particularly stressful time, they won’t be interested in hearing your proposal. You will also want to approach the conversation like a negotiation and find a solution that works for both parties.

Never threaten your employer. Threatening to quit or reduce duties will not get you any closer to a pay raise. If anything, it will cause a rift between you and your employer and possibly lead to your dismissal. Regardless of the answer you get, always stay calm. Just because you didn’t get a pay increase this time doesn’t mean you can’t revisit the subject in a little while. However, if the conversation becomes a confrontation, you will probably never see a salary increase.

You’re also going to want to plan out your next steps. If you successfully receive your pay increase, you will have new expectations that you have to live up to. If you are unsuccessful, it’s probably a good idea to have a plan for what you will do next. Do you need to decide if there is more you have to do to prove that you deserve a raise? Do you look for new employment? It will help if you have an idea about what you’re going to do next, pending the answer you receive.

So remember, before asking for a raise, plan and do your research. Stay calm during your meeting with your employer, and don’t make any threats or ultimatums. Always make sure to plan out your next steps.

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