You’ve spent several years in the organization, turn up to work early, meet deadlines regularly and deliver good results. Yet, of late, you can’t help but feel that you’re not being paid enough. Believe it or not, a majority of the people feel the same way as you.

A survey conducted in 2013 by revealed that about two-thirds of employees in the UAE feel they are underpaid compared to industry peers. So what is it that stops most of us from asking for a pay hike? Is it even okay to walk up to your boss and demand a raise? If yes, then how?

Here’s a quick guide to successfully ask for a raise at work and get that much-needed pay bump:

First of all, drop any inhibitions!

Most people find it awkward to initiate a conversation with their managers thinking they would come off looking greedy. However, it is important to understand that it is completely normal to ask for a raise. Your manager probably has years of experience behind him or her and must have dealt with dozens of employees every year demanding a raise in salary. As long as you are not asking for an outrageous hike and can prove your potential, your manager would surely hear you out and put your request under consideration.

Know what you have achieved

Employees get pay bumps based on what they have achieved in the recent past. So prepare a list of all your achievements and practice beforehand the order in which you will bring them up in your negotiations. You need to convince your superior that you are a valuable asset and keeping you unhappy will be against the organization’s interest.

Choose the right time

Factoring in human emotion is important as a lot may depend on your manager’s mood. Catching your manager at a wrong time could throw cold water on all your hard work. Gauge your manager’s mood or wait for a good day before bringing up the topic.

Be ready with an elevator pitch

You don’t have to make a detailed case as to why you may need a raise or take forever to arrive at the point. The last thing you would want is to annoy your manager with a long-drawn-out speech. Always keep it short, simple and to the point.

Ask for the right amount

As touched upon earlier, your manager won’t take your request seriously if you seek an inappropriate raise in salary. It is okay to quote a specific figure as long as it is within the current market rate. Do some research to find out what other companies are offering for the same position before arriving at a figure.

[Related: How to Calculate Your ‘End of Service Benefits’]

What to do after getting the raise?

Live up to it

You earned a hike for a reason, and thus, it is quite essential for you to keep working equally hard, or perhaps better than before. This shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile, even after you’ve got what you wanted and raises your chances of acquiring a second raise or a promotion in the near future.

Put the money to good use

If you successfully manage to get a salary hike, figure out how you will use the extra money. You can choose to settle existing debts such as credit card debt and personal loans or park your money in an investment plan for long-term gains.