As an employee, you have certain rights: You have the right to a safe working environment. You have the right to be treated as a human being. Unfortunately, you do not have the right to a raise.

Though pay increases are often considered a non-negotiable job benefit, they`re actually discretionary, meaning what you get is entirely up to your boss. This is good and bad–bad because you`re not guaranteed to receive anything and good because savvy workers can prepare themselves to earn more than the average worker.

Think Ahead
It’s never too early to think about–and prepare for–your next pay increase.

Know What You’re Worth
Do your homework so you know what’s a fair deal.

Nothing’s going to be handed to you. Ask and you shall receive.

Be Ready to Negotiate
What’s critical and what’s not?