BusinessTech recently reported that there is not much hope for a great salary increase in 2017 due to the state of our economy. And with the average salary increase in South Africa seen at between 6% and 7.5% (inflation is currently at 6%), this means you’ll really be seeing an increase of between 0% and 1.5 %, if you adjust for inflation.

So how do you ensure you get the most out of this wage increase? Well, by talking to your boss. This might be easier said than done, but here are a few guidelines:

Do your research

Before you ask your boss for a meeting, get an idea of how much you should be paid. You can do this by checking websites like Payscale or MyWage and comparing the salary you earn to those who do the same or similar work to you. Also perhaps speak to colleagues or your peers to figure out if you’re being paid what you’re worth.

Be clear about what you want

Do your research and present it in a clear and concise way. We know being confident is hard in this situation, but breathe, smile and know that you’ve got this.

Sell yourself

Tell your boss exactly why you deserve a raise and list all of your achievements since you’ve been with the company. Or if you’ve recently taken on more responsibility tell her/him how your increase in work and responsibility should be reflected in your salary.

Show initiative

If you need to go on that training course or take on more work to get your raise, then do it. Say and do whatever it takes to get you to your goal. Also, willingness to do more and be more proactive shows your employer that you’re worth that extra money.

Be reasonable

Decide on a number you really want, but also consider the reality of how much you can really get. If your company cannot afford to give you a 10% raise, then ask for a bit less, but perhaps negotiate for something else you need as well like a new computer monitor.

If you’re not successful in getting your raise, you might want to table it for 6 months and readdress the issue then. If you’re not prepared to do that, it might be time to start looking for a new job.