negotiate pinDo you know you deserve that raise or promotion this year but aren’t sure where to start?

If you aren’t sure, consider it.

Women often wait too long for hard work to be recognized rather than asking for a raise. Here are some steps and ideas on how to negotiate what you’re worth.

Negotiating 101: It’s an ongoing conversation

We frequently think of a salary negotiation as one conversation.

It can be much less daunting and more successful if you are checking in with your direct supervisor every couple of weeks (or whatever feels appropriate).

Stop in and tell them what you have been working on, what accomplishments you have made, what you have been enjoying and what interests you that you haven’t had a chance to work on yet.

Ask to take on additional responsibility. This not only serves to show your boss all the great things you’ve been doing, but also helps them better see a path for your future.  In addition, ask your supervisor what’s important to her and make those your priorities as well. This can put you both on the same team working for the same purpose.

Keep up with the research

Information is power. Before asking for a raise, know your worth in the market.

You can check salary websites (such as glassdoor.com, salary.com and careerbuilder.com), speak to headhunters or ask coworkers.

Speak with current and past coworkers with some discretion as its very personal information that they might not be willing to share. While your market value doesn’t necessarily dictate what you are worth, it can provide a good starting point and is a helpful number to keep in mind.

It Never Hurts to Ask

Whether you feel very strongly that you deserve a raise or aren’t really sure, it never hurts to ask. It actually might improve your boss’s opinion of you if you negotiate your compensation each year.

If you feel very strongly that you deserve a raise, you’ve probably waited too long. Try to negotiate each year and if your supervisor knows your goals and career aspirations from an ongoing conversation, it won’t be a surprise. Read: How to Negotiate Past “No”

Collaborate

Negotiating what you are worth doesn’t have to be a one-sided conversation. It can work even better if you ask your boss for feedback or ideas on a given situation.

If there are roadblocks to getting you what you want (and there often are), ask them how they would navigate the situation. They will more often than not have advice for you and become your advocate.

If you are unsure of your next move within the company or your career, ask them about that as well. Share what you like and don’t like and you can brainstorm on what makes sense for you. Often the people who are a step or many steps ahead of us are full of wisdom and insight and might have already accomplished what you are looking to do now.

I got the job offer, now what?

Separately, if you receive an offer for a new position (inside or outside your firm), always negotiate.

We as women often are so excited by the opportunity or we fear losing it that we just accept the offer. A company will not rescind the offer if you ask for too much compensation. They might say no or agree to something in between but worst case, you can always accept what was originally offered.

Finally, base salary is typically a very important compensation component because many other compensation items may be based on it such as, bonus, stock incentives, and other benefits. That being said, if a company can’t offer your desired base salary, don’t be afraid to get creative. Try to think of total compensation. Are there benefits that could help make up for a lower base salary?

Commit to taking the first step towards getting paid what you are worth. Walk in to your boss or supervisor’s office and tell them about what you have been working on, what you have accomplished, what you plan to accomplish in the next few months and what work you find most interesting. Make 2014 the year you will negotiate what you’re worth.