Hold Up—Are You Actually *Qualified* to Be Asking for a Raise?

Everything you read tells you to fight for more $$, but the truth is...you might not be there yet.

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You know how you sometimes get that itch to text your ex—and if even one friend issues a half-hearted OK, you fire off a (casual) (but not so much) message faster than Usain Bolt can run a mile? Yeah.

Learning from our mistakes: When you read everywhere all the time about how important it is to fight for more money (and it is!), it's just as important to think before you act. Sure, you want a bigger salary, but do you deserve it? Not a fun thing to ponder, but the truth is, you might be jumping the gun.

"Preparation is critical to having a successful salary negotiation with your boss," says Farnoosh Torabi, financial expert and host of the daily podcast So Money.

Here, she's breaking down how to figure out if now is the time to ask your boss for a bigger, better paycheck—or if you still have a little bit of work to do before you get there.

If you answered something along the lines of "er...no..." to either of the above, then consider these questions your to-do list over the next 1-3 months.

If you answered "yes" to both questions, then move on to Step 2!

If you answered YES! and HELL YES! again, then Torabi says you're very well-positioned to go in there and fight for a fatter paycheck. Congrats! Get that green.

But...how? What do you say, exactly? We've got you covered. Check back next week for our complete guide to getting a raise, from start to ca-ching.

You should also check out:

Mika Brzezinski's Fool-Proof Tips for Getting a Raise—Even If You're a Pushover

Should You Bother Your Boss: A Flowchart

The 7 Most Common Mistakes Women Make When Looking for a New Job

Devin Tomb

Devin is Prevention.com's executive editor and loves to write about health, human rights, and culture. Previously, she was deputy editor at GoodHousekeeping.com and a senior editor at SELF.