I don't doubt you have worked hard and that you deserve it, but now is a difficult time to ask for a pay rise. The poor economy can make even the most productive of workers unsure how to ask for a rise. There are three main things to focus on if you are coming up to an annual appraisal. 1. Find out what competitors pay – you have to do your homework first on sites like www.monster.co.uk so you have the ammunition you need before negotiating. 2. Think about the money you make your organisation – document all your accomplishments based on how much revenue the projects you worked on earned saved the company, quantify everything you can! 3. Don't give an ultimatum – this economy makes it easy for an employer to show you the door, so if you don't get what you want, ask what exactly you need to do to be earning more, then get a date to revisit those goals with your boss – before you leave the negotiating table.