CHICAGO (CBS) – The economy is starting to look up a little. With the improving financial news nationally, maybe it’s a sign that this is a good time to go to the boss about a little extra money in your paycheck.

Think a raise sounds ridiculous when others are still looking for work? Not necessarily, as CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist reports.

Chicagoans who have jobs right now feel lucky. And as far as asking for a raise, many we spoke to didn’t want to press their luck.

CBS 2 asked Jamie Ruggio if now is a good time to ask for a raise.

“No, because we’re barely holding onto our jobs,” said Ruggio.

Alonozo Wilson said, “I definitely feel that I need a raise.”

Many of us are working long hours, and doing the jobs of two people. So, while we worry that a raise would be out of the question, experts say maybe not.

“It’s precisely when companies aren’t spending, aren’t under a lot of pressure to dole out a lot of raises, that there’s likely to be money available to reward a few employees,” said Shirit Kronzon, PhD, Wharton School of Business.

Kronzon says you need to show your boss how you stand out. It worked for Teasha Kinder.

“I felt like all the work that I put in, and all the extra work that I took on, and everything that I learned, it was deserved,” Kinder said.

“If you can put together a memo or e-mail even that outlines all of your accomplishments, it makes it easier for the other side to say yes,” said Kronzon.

That memo should include a list of goals you’ve accomplished for the company. You should document cost savings and productivity improvements. And add any contributions you’ve made over and above what your regular job required.

Finally, search the Internet. Check or to find out what other people make who do a similar job. And if you don’t get the answer you want, don’t give up.

“Basically, ask your boss if you can revisit it in six months,” said Avi Karnani with “And ask how you can go about earning your raise.”

Bardia Fard is the boss. He owns his own practice.

He said, “I think asking for the raise isn’t offensive or improper in any way.”

“If you think your company has more funding, and you know you’re doing an excellent job, and you can back that up with statistics, and tracking and trending, it would be worth a try,” said Crystal Golson.

If your boss says there aren’t funds in the budget for a raise, you can also suggest other options: like extra days off, or time to work from home, if that’s something you consider valuable.

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