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Is it time for a pay rise?

Is it time for a pay rise?

Last month I shared a guest blog written by my good friend and stylist Maggie Killick on ignoring the rules when it comes to dressing for your ‘body-shape’ and instead focussing on balance — if you missed it you can read it here.


I love to connect and collaborate with other like-minded souls and fellow business-owners and I think guest blogs are a great way for me to showcase their expertise, in addition to providing you with a broader range of topics to inspire and inform … Topics that always come back to the shared objective of becoming our best selves!


With that said, this month I’d like to introduce you to Catherine Davies.


Catherine began her career as a corporate lawyer with a global law firm and has held very senior positions in the public and private sectors. She now manages a strategic consultancy business advising clients on competition, regulation, and public policy.  She also teaches individual clients her strategies for career success.


One of Catherine’s specialist areas is in helping and coaching people around getting a pay rise — a popular subject for most people I would say!


And so, this week I’ve asked Catherine to share her sound advice on how to know if it’s time for a pay rise…



How do you feel about how much you earn? Delighted? Ok? Underwhelmed? Bad?


It’s a very personal thing with no right or wrong answer. If it’s too low, we can start to feel undervalued, unappreciated and, frankly, resentful towards our employers.


If it’s too high, we can stress that we can’t deliver the value we think is expected.


How would you feel about earning £5-10k more? Does it feel good energetically? If so, then it’s probably time to do something about it.


So how do you figure out if you’re due a pay rise? And what do you do about if it you conclude you are? Let’s work through this, step by step.


Step 1

When did you last get a pay rise? If it’s 2 years or more, it’s probably time for one!


Step 2

What’s the market rate for your role? Do your research. You’re looking for a range. Google your job title and the city you work in and see what comes up. Also check out the Glassdoor website, call recruiters and ask other people what the going rate is. Look for similar roles, in similar organisations in similar locations.


Step 3

Is there a good opportunity to discuss it with your manager? Good times include after a great Annual Performance Review or a pay review or bonus conversation as part of your normal annual corporate cycle. Otherwise you can create an opportunity by emailing your boss saying – please could we have a chat about my remuneration package?


Don’t choose a bad time. Bad times are out of the blue on a Friday afternoon, at work drinks, when your organisation is making redundancies or other significant cuts.


Step 4

Plan to have a conversation about your salary that is win/win for everyone – it either results in a pay rise and you feel happy about that and your manager feels he or she has a super motivated member of the team; or it results in a “not now” response in which case you have made your point, put your manager on notice that you take your career seriously and want to progress. If you do get that response, ask again in 6 months and/or start looking for a new job.


So how do you have a win/win conversation?


  • It’s not personal – this isn’t about you as a human being and your value to the world. It’s about your role, the way your do your role, a market rate and your organisation’s strategy.


  • Have a range in mind – taken from the market research you’ve done and what feels good to you.


  • Write down your achievements over the last 12 months – how have you contributed to your organisation’s strategic objectives? How do you hope to continue to do that over the next 12 months? Show – don’t just tell – so use data: for example, revenues/numbers of new clients/numbers of jobs for a revenue contribution, cost savings for an efficiency contribution, engagement for an impact contribution.


  • Have the courage to ask for what you want and then stop talking. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised.


Step 5

Assuming you get a yes, make sure you celebrate your achievement! My clients have gone on holiday, put a deposit down on a new place, bought something special.  Do something fun to mark the moment before your higher salary becomes your new normal. And then start thinking about the right moment for the next pay rise conversation!



Sometimes we can get stuck in a comfort zone or so bogged down with our day-to-day job and hectic schedule that we forget to take a step back and have a proper look at how we really feel about our job, our level of contribution, our achievements and how we’re being remunerated for our efforts.


So, I hope that Catherine’s advice today has prompted you to seriously consider whether or not you’re due and worth a pay rise and if so, to be bold and act on your desires!


Have a great weekend,


Kate x

Kate Horwood