NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — Check this figure: 2%. That's what the HR numbers geek say is the typical pay increase in the private sector. In the federal government, it is 1%...and when that comes in January, it will be the first pay hike federal workers have seen in three years.

Face it, you don't climb the economic ladder waiting for the boss to dole out annual pay raises.

Do the math. Earn $50,000 per year and that 2% pay hike maybe gives you enough extra dough for a latte every other day. In actual math, it amounts to $4 pre-tax each workday.

Big whoop, right?

You want a pay hike that will make a difference in your lifestyle.

Talk with HR experts and many pooh-pooh that idea, saying that in tough times, just be grateful for the paycheck. But of course that is what they are paid to say.

There are others who will tell you the secrets to scoring a double-digit percentage pay hike, and those are the only ones worth listening to. Read on for strategies that just may let you start the new year in a higher tax bracket.

* Think strategically and think visibility. If what you are doing is killer but it is off the radar of the big brass, guess what, you are looking at a tiny pay hike. Ditto if what you are doing - however stellar - has negligible strategic payoff for the company.

To get more, change your game plan. Focus on what matters to the higher ups. "The work needs to have strategic value to the organization and should be highly visible to leadership," said Janine Truitt, chief innovation officer at Talent Think Innovations. "When you are continuously churning out programs and initiatives that follow this formula, you are likely to get what you want with little push-back,"'

* It comes down to dollars and cents.

You want more dough? Make more bread for your employer. It's that simple.

Katie Donovan, founder of Equal Pay Negotiations, explained that the foundation for going in with a demand for a huge pay hike has to be centered in quantifiable benefits you have brought the organization. "The business argument needs to include your dollar impact on the company," Donovan said. "This can be cost savings or revenue generation. Once you can start talking about how you saved the company $100,000 by improving a process then you can negotiate a $10,000 raise."

*Do your homework.

"Know what you're worth." advised Bill Grimm, professor of practice in entrepreneurial finance and negotiation at the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business. "Use online research and information from industry publications or professional contacts to determine if you're getting paid a salary in line with your abilities and workload responsibilities."