Three Top Tips for a Pay Raise

This month's blog comes to you from Meggie Palmer, CEO and Founder at PepTalkHer, a company committed to closing the gender pay gap. PepTalkHer does everything from run corporate trainings for companies to recruit, retain, and promote diverse talent to leading workshops that support mid-career women get that next promotion and raise. Here, she shares her top three tips for getting the pay raise you deserve now. 

Hey, legend.

Meggie from PepTalkHer here. Need some support on negotiating a pay raise? Pull up a chair!

When I was 21, very green on the career scene and not at all wise to the world of work (let alone salary negotiations), I asked my boss for a pay raise.

Why? To be honest, my friend from college - who was a few years old and had been in his role for 3 years -  had just received a pay raise and more coins in my life sounded pretty good. 

My lead-up was pretty different from his; I’d been in my role for only 4 months and came into the discussion with no plan and zero preparation.

This is a (very paraphrased) version of how that conversation went down:

Me: *knocks on the door of my boss’s office* “Hi, I was wondering if we could discuss my current salary."

My boss: “Meggie! Hi. Look, we’re not in a position at the moment to negotiate on pay.”

Meggie: “Ah, ok, sorry to bother you.” *walks out, never to be discussed again*

Current me cringes at this memory, but I’m also proud youthful me had the bravado to want to go and have the discussion.

Fast forward to now and this problem (and how to solve it) is what I live and breathe.

I wanted to let you in on a few little secrets, tips, and tricks I have distilled over my career, that will put you in much better stead when you go to have this type of discussion.

TIP #1

First of all, don’t just waltz into your boss’s office asking for a pay review chat. Formally request the meeting, get it in your calendars, and allow both of you time to reflect and prepare for this discussion.

TIP #2

Now: the preparation. Asking for a pay raise because your friend received one, or because of inflation, or because you took on a bigger mortgage, isn’t going to cut it. Asking for a pay raise because you’re providing value to the company, because you deserve it, because you’re in a position to take on more in the business, are all valid reasons.

So get out a piece of paper and start jotting down the wins you’ve had in your role over the past week, month, year. (We actually have an app for that! Download the PepTalkHer app to record your wins - even monthly updates will allow you a dozen wins to share with your boss in a salary review in a year’s time!). Use specific examples, like you brought on a great new intern, you improved the company culture through the introduction of Lunch and Learn Mondays, you increased sales by 11%, the business LinkedIn account engagement is up 32%. These facts are hard to ignore in salary discussions.

TIP #3

My next piece of advice is to practice this discussion with someone else - maybe a colleague, your bestie, a partner, or a family member. Draw on your freshman-year drama class and flex those muscles ahead of time. Practicing these so-called hard conversations will get the nerves out and make you confident to do this in the real world. It works by firing your brain synapses and is an energizing and focusing ritual to get you prepped for this type of conversation.

How to deal with the responses you might get when you ask for a pay raise is a WHOLE other topic! But the chances of those answers going in your favor will be massively helped if you do the prep! Start the convo off right, know your worth, and be ready to demonstrate it!

Go get them legends.


P.S.  Check out Pep TalkHer's SOS workshop (which is on sale for 50% off)