Imagine finding out your co-workers get paid twice as much as you for the same job done over the same hours. Hectic! There must be a way to address the issue with your boss without losing your job or coming across as unappreciative.

According to Ramit Sethi, New York Times bestselling author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich, in his study titled the Ultimate Guide to Getting a Raise & Boosting Your Salary, increasing your salary is the easiest and fastest way to make more money. All this can happen in one relaxed conversation. It is not the conversation that is a challenge, but how the conversation goes about from your side.

READ MORE: 'I live every day with suicidal thoughts' - this transwoman faces discrimination in her efforts to find work after retrenchment

The first thing to know is that there is no shame in feeling like you deserve better pay. Recruitment specialist at HR Company Solutions, Laura Potgieter, takes us through five tips to follow before you ask for a raise:

1. Arrive prepared for the conversation

You need to go into the discussion with confidence, so make sure that you’ve prepared everything you need to make a convincing argument. Nothing is worse than showing up unprepared. You should have factual information to share so that your request is sincerely considered by management.

Compile a short list of what you want to say and make sure you rehearse the conversation in your head or practice with a family member or your partner so that you feel confident.

2. Don’t make demand

When asking for a raise, it should never be presented as an ultimatum. You may get the extra money, but there is a very real risk of it jeopardising your role and your reputation. 

READ MORE: Hiring domestic help can be a bit conflicting for young black SA women - here's how to make your home a dignified working environment

Ensure that your request is expressed through gratitude, then highlight your key accomplishments and contributions. When you’ve established that your manager agrees with you, then—and only then—do you tell her what you want and that you feel you deserve a raise.

3. Don’t play the counteroffer game

It may be tempting to mention other job offers or that you've been for other interviews unless you already have a solid offer from another company on hand.

Lying is always traceable, and is likely to come back and ruin your argument. Also remmeber that counteroffers are very often detrimental in the long run as then your manager may believe that you are on the lookout for another opportunity.

4. Keep it real

If you think you deserve a raise, that’s great - but don’t expect a 200% increase in salary. Make sure that you do your research and ask for something reasonable. Especially if there is restructuring going on or anything – be mindful that this is playing a huge role in every decision made by management. 

READ MORE: 10 Tips for starting an Instagram thrift store according to a store owner who got it right

Focus on yourself and your performance within the company and not on anyone else. Getting a raise is not about how you do a better job than anyone else, so don’t compare yourself to others.

5. Don’t leave your meeting empty handed

Most people only think about salary, but there are many more benefits that could be up for negotiation, such as a flexible work schedule, additional leave days, external and internal training opportunities and tuition reimbursement.

If the company says that they can't meet your salary requirements, ask them if there are other benefits they could offer you as this might not have a financial impact on their bottom line. 

READ MORE: Here are the top 3 reasons why people leave their jobs, plus, 6 mistakes to avoid when you resign

 If it's an experience issue, or something else that you can change in the short or long term, discuss a plan for your growth in these areas and provide examples of how you've overcome challenging situations previously as this will help cement your commitment to the company.

Sources: Rami SethiHR Company Solutions,

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways