</a>As the age-old saying goes: You won't know unless you ask. And who knows what your time, efforts, talents, knowledge, and skills are worth better than you? Whether it's negotiating your salary during the hiring process or requesting a raise, getting proper compensation for what you do best is an art that can be developed and mastered. <strong>BlackEnterprise.com </strong>spoke to <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2010/02/04/step-your-game-up-with-a-career-coach/"><strong>Judith Colemon</strong></a>, CEO of <strong><a href="http://www.sherpacoaching.com/" target="_blank">Sherpa Coaching L.L.C</a>.</strong>, who offers these tips on knowing your value and how to get what you're worth<em>.–Janell Hazelwood</em></p>
</a>Examine your career vision and develop a strategy: </strong>What do you want? Where do you want to be in five years? "After you have answered these questions and more, think about <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2009/12/01/stress-free-work-results/"><strong>what you can get from your current job </strong></a>that prepares you for where you are going," Colemon says. "How might you gain more training? Can you work from home one day a week? Is there a new project, task, or goal that can be led by you? Tuition reimbursement? There are a million things to ask for, but what is relevant to your specific needs, desires and goals?"
</a>Do your research to know what the industry salary standard is for your job: </strong>Check out job postings, and utilize Web tools such as <strong><a href="http://www.salary.com/salary/index.asp" target="_blank">Salary.com</a></strong> or Monster's <strong><a href="http://monster.salary.com/" target="_blank">salary calculator</a></strong>.<strong> "</strong>It wouldn't be a great idea to ask for an outrageous amount that's not realistic to the market," Colemon says. "You'll lose."</p>
</a>Don't make your request appear like an ultimatum: </strong>You don't want to be combative or abrasive. This won't get you great results with your superiors. "How you handle yourself once you have asked is very important," Colemon says. "If you don't remain productive and positive, should there be an upcoming opportunity for increase, you won't get it."
</a>Be prepared with documentation of what you bring to the table: </strong>Ask yourself, 'What are added things I know how to do and perform on my job?,'" Colemon suggests. Keep track of your successes and how you've contributed to the company's bottom line. Be prepared to present this as evidence of why you should get a raise or other added incentive.
<em><strong>For more on getting the salary and career advancement you deserve, be sure to read…</strong></em> <li><strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/25/want-to-earn-a-mans-salary-negotiate-like-him/">Want to Earn a Man's Salary? Negotiate Like Him</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2009/11/01/the-art-of-effective-communication/">The Art of Effective Communication</a></strong></li>