How to ask for a pay rise… and get one!

I’ve been keeping a little secret, sublime seekers. While it’s true that I LOVE fashion and beauty and shopping and sharing the best of those finds with you, fashion and beauty and shopping doesn’t quite pay the bills (in fact they kinda create some bills of their own… errrr). In the rest of my life, I pay the bills by working in the business of people. For a long time I’ve been passionate about the difference people can make to organisational success and I get a lot of enjoyment from helping businesses get that relationship right to create the best environment for people and the best results for the business.

Now the last time I shared a secret with you guys, it was that I’m a feminist. That is to say I believe in equality for women (not burning my bra), I believe women have it pretty good in Australia (compared to other parts of the world), I believe there’s still some disparity in workplaces and I don’t believe that it’s anyone or any one group of people’s (i.e. men’s) fault.

Where’s this going?

Good question. I am constantly amazed by the incredible women in my life and our country, women who are intelligent, witty, wise, thoughtful and driven. And I know that description fits many of you that visit here on this website.


A sublime-seeking wonderwomen, just like you!

My work and study bring me in contact with a bunch of info and insights that might be helpful in assisting you to get where you’re going (and where you deserve to be!) in your lives.

If I could choose one thing to do on this blog, I’d love it to be that – to share some delightful discoveries with you bright, driven, lovely-things, to help you to be the most fabulous version of yourselves.

Perhaps it’s a new lippy that’ll save you reapplying 7 times in a day, perhaps its some tips on how to rock a new trend and feel confident doing it, perhaps it’s a sale to save some of your hard earned pennies, or perhaps (like today!) it’s a suggestion on how to get where you’re going in your career.

A quick disclaimer

While I work in the business of people, the info I’m sharing here is not specifically based on my experience within any particular organisation, but rather informed by study and reading and anecdotally coming to understand what’s happening in workplaces through networks and industry and stufffff. You know.

Lets talk turkey!

Lets! Studies have repeatedly shown that women in Australia are paid, on average, less than men who they perform the same job. It doesn’t happen everywhere, there are (of course) exceptions, great progress has been made etc etc but on average, the gap (albeit a shrinking one) continues to exist.

Mind the Gap

The Gap – yep, it’s still there. Can’t we get someone in to fix this thing?!

Data also shows us that women are typically less likely to ask for a pay rise than men! What’s that about? I have several ideas, none of which matter, because we should just get to the business of HOW to ask for a pay rise! Sublime seekers, I give you four (very detailed) steps to ask for a pay rise and get one!

1. It’s a matter of time 

For a bunch of reasons, timing matters!

  • Know your company’s remuneration cycle. There’s very little point asking for a pay rise at Christmas, if salary reviews are done in June. And truth be told, there’s not much point asking for a pay rise in June if salary reviews are done in June, because they’ve likely be budgeted for, and discussed, well prior. Depending on the size of the company, expect the behind-the-scenes salary decision making to start up to three months prior to you receiving a letter saying it’s time to shout yourself some Louboutins. If you’re not sure of your company’s process, ask your manager or have a poke around for a policy, it’s usually outlined somewhere. Note that in those policies, some companies have strict rules about pay rises outside of the designated time (i.e. they don’t do them).  The good news is, that within lots of businesses who make salary adjustments at end of financial year, now is a pretty good time to be having a discussion.
  • If you’ve been with the company or in your current role less than 12 months, or have had a reasonable/significant pay rise within the last 12 months, it might pay (pun!) to wait, rather than ask again just yet. You don’t want to appear money-hungry, or impatient. Read your situation.
  • Sometimes you need to read the mood too. If you’ve just contributed to a significant success, using that as a catalyst to have the discussion can be very smart indeed.
  • Very important to note: do NOT ambush your boss! Let your manager know you’d like to make a time to have a chat with them. If you’re nervous about saying you want to talk about salary, let them know you’d like to discuss “growth and opportunities”.

2. Make it easy for them to say yes AKA be prepared!

It pays (pun!) to demonstrate you’re serious about your agenda. Put together some succinct info to send to your manager before your meeting or take along to talk through at your meeting. It might include the following:

  • quantitative evidence of the impact you’ve had i.e. increased sales/revenue/results/results compared to budget/savings – the more translatable to $, the better
  • written feedback/praise from customers or others within the business
  • tasks you’re completing outside your position description (big ticket items only)
  • changes/achievements that have occurred since your last review. Note: if you are reminding your manager of an achievement they’re aware of, do so modestly. You do not want to oversell something they already know.
  • consider including a view to the future as well. Typically, bonuses are paid for a job well done, pay rises are given for a permanent change…  what are you able to continue to deliver rather that makes giving you a permanent pay rise worthwhile?
  • some people will suggest including market salary data, I’m not one of them. A well-crafted “I am valuable to this company” argument is much harder to rebut than the “you’re not paying me correctly” argument. You were happy to accept the job at a certain level, turning around and saying it’s no longer enough isn’t a smart play. It also makes it easy for business to say “well go there, then”. Even if you feel you’re underpaid for what you do, there’s a better way to state your case.

Ultimately, the upshot is this: your company will not pay you more for doing your existing job. You need to be able to demonstrate the ways you do more… and are therefore worth more.

It’s important to put your case in writing. Your manager likely won’t have the final decision on adjusting your pay. Arm your boss with the evidence they need to state your case further up the chain.

3. Influence widely. 

It is common within organisations to have a moderation process during salary review time. This helps ensure that the generous manager with average performing staff doesn’t give bigger increases than the budget-conscious manager with high performing staff. Managers have an open discussion about the comparative performance of their people, in some organisations they will even rank them. Obviously, it pays to have more than one person in the room singing your praises!

"Andrea? I've never heard of Andrea!" will not lead to a pay rise.

“Andrea? I’ve never heard of Andrea!” in moderation will not lead to a Chanel-sized pay rise.

If you’re asking for a pay rise outside salary review time, there will still be other stakeholders involved in the decision. Engage outside your area.

4. Be prepared to hear no… and capitalise on it

We won’t all get a yes, every time. But a “no” now, isn’t necessarily bad, in fact it can often be the groundwork you need to get a “yes” next time.

The saying, ‘there’s no harm in asking’ is only true if you handle the answer well… regardless of what it is.

If you get a “we agree you’re worth more, but can’t increase your salary right now…” answer you can thank your manager for their consideration and either seek permission to revisit the topic in 3-6 months when the climate is better or ask them if they’d consider an alternative arrangement. This might include company support of training/professional development, exposure/opportunity in another part of the business, flexible working arrangements, the promise of a half-yearly pay review etc. Think broadly and be ready to discuss this before you go in.

If you get a “you’re not ready yet…” answer

  • be gracious
  • ask for feedback, “what can I do differently?” “what would you need to see from me to justify an increase?”
  • make a plan, in writing. Agree with your manager on the development required, add it to your development plan (make one if you don’t have one) and revisit it regularly with your manager to seek their feedback and ensure you’re on track

Remember that the person telling you ‘no’ is likely apprehensive! Ensuring the conversation goes positively (regardless of the answer) can leave a lasting impression!

When you get that “yes”…

  • crack the champers baby cakes! We’re going to the shops!

PinkChampagne pic by

Some Dos and Don’ts


  • practice your conversations first, out loud.
  • revisit the Finds to make you feel BRAVE post if you’re feeling nervy
  • dress for the job you want! This is most certainly a hair-brushing occasion!


  • get emotional. I believe there are some occasions it’s ok to cry at work. This is absolutely not one of them. Practice until you’re not emotional about it.
  • bring up your colleagues pay. EVER. Pulling out the “I know what <colleague> gets paid” booby trap is bound to put your employer on the defensive.
  • discuss your personal reasons for wanting or needing a pay rise. The reasons to give you a pay rise are related to your output at work only, not your personal life.
  • use another job as leverage. Unless you’re really prepared to walk if your current employer says no. Even then, kinda crap way to leave. You might not burn your bridge but you’ll probably singe it.

(NB – I’ve tried at least half of these don’ts! We live and learn baby, live and learn.)

Things you can do now to set yourself up for a pay rise in the future

Even if it’s not the right time to ask for a pay rise, it IS the right time to lay the ground work!

Do this now:

  • indicate your desire to grow and perform well in your company
  • seek clarity around the expectations of you. Ideally, ask what exceeding those expectations would look like, too.
  • make a plan with your manager to grow your experience and deliver. Stick to the plan, revisit the plan with your manager regularly.
  • if something doesn’t go well at work, acknowledge it with your manager, share your learnings/insights and move on
  • if you’re new to a role, be careful about too aggressively indicating your desire to take ‘the next step’… some workplace cultures love this, but others don’t. If your culture is the latter, talk in terms of your desire to ‘learn and contribute as much as possible’.

Take a crack at it, sublime seekers. If you play it smart, you’ll end up with a pay rise, or closer to a pay rise. Money isn’t everything and won’t make you happy at work, but it sure does help you to buy shiny things, and shiny things are ALWAYS a good idea.


Have you asked for a pay rise and got one? What are your tips? How do you feel about this sort of post on Sublime Finds? I’d love to hear your thoughts below! 

The Electric Toothbrush for your Face

We’re talking pretty skins today, sublime seekers! More specifically, Clarisonic’s range of cleansing tools and why they might be Sublime Finds! 

I will disclose upfront that I am one of those very bloody lucky gals who has never had toooo many problems with my skin. So much so, that about six-ish embarrassing years ago I was *tricked* into declaring I pretty much did not have a skin care regime to speak of, which prompted AW (of Midi-Skirt Madness fame) to start referring to me as ‘dirt face’. Suffice to say this was motivation enough to look into this whole skin care thing a little more. 

Fast forward to my late twenties and several things have happened: 1) My skin ain’t the skin of my early-twenties. The nectar of youth is starting to dry up. 2) I tried a plethora of products, some of which were expensive and crap (I’m looking at you, Chanel Foaming Cleanser). 3) I succumbed to the hype bought myself a Clarisonic!

My face and it's new bestie; the Clarisonic Mia 2

My face and it’s new bestie; the Clarisonic Mia 2

What’s a Clarisonic? 

The Clarisonic is cleansing brush originally developed for skin-care pro’s…. then, following it’s success, was made available to regular folk like you and me. It looks like a bit like a face-sized electric toothbrush. However, the Clarisonic uses sonic technology (did ya see that one coming?) to create oscillation (back and forth movement) of 200-350 movements per second. Even though it looks like it’s vibrating and spinning, it’s not! This alternate movement is designed to work with your skin’s elasticity and be uber gentle! It’s also the reason you should possibly not be as concerned about using it on your pretty, delicate lady-faces.

The Clarisonic is designed to work with your existing cleansing product and will probably be great with yours! The fine, shiny-skinned people at Clarisonic do also make a cleanser (a sample is included in your pack). Most regularly, I use mine with some ultra gentle Cetaphil. I tried it with a foaming cleanser once, bit of a froth-fest, but still ok. Wouldn’t recommend it as a starting point.

The tool is designed to be used for one minute, up to two times a day and claims to be six times more effective than cleansing with your fingers.

Clarisonic have kindly prepared this chart to enable us to compare their products:

Clarisonic Comparison Chart - Sublime Finds

Reasons I’m calling the Clarisonic Mia 2 a Sublime Find: 

  • Not sure about you… but for me both the shower and the morning are vortexes in which time moves at a deceiving pace! The Clarisonic Mia 2 does not leave you wondering how long you’ve been cleansing, it gives a little pulse when it’s time to move onto the next section of your face.
  • For this reason… there’s a little bit of smugness to enjoy in knowing you’re doing it right!
  • They’ve really nailed the shape in terms of making it comfy to hold and use.
  • It lasts A MONTH (of once-a-day cleansing) before it needs a charge! (Clarisonic, please share you secrets with the iPhone peeps)
  • It sends you morse code with it’s light. I didn’t know morse code before, but I now know that several regular flashes of light means ‘charge me soon’.
  • It’s totally waterproof; mine lives in the shower. It also comes with a handy-dandy travel case!
  • The reason that counts: I am certain my skin is better for using it. I have visibly less black heads, as well as smaller pores. I have less ‘zones’ and my skin is more consistent. And it feels smooth. It’s a better base for make-up and I think I’m now getting more mileage out of my other skin products. I did change a couple of other things at the same time I procured the Mia 2, but I’m pretty sure it’s a key ingredient in the improvements I’ve seen.

Things that make the Clarisonic Mia 2 a little bit funny: 

  • It makes a clearly audible vibration-like sound. Of the nature that caused JS to burst into the bathroom the first time I used it to see what I was up to! “Making my skin sparkle, JS, what are YOU up to?”

Some tips: 

  • I read a number of posts when I got mine suggesting it was a good idea to slowly ease into use of the Clarisonic. I started out a few days a week, and gradually worked up to using it daily. This seemed to be the consensus among the advice I’d read, and worked for me. Some people report their skin breaking out in the first month to six weeks… I had this on a verrrry minor scale. Certainly not anything that would make me reconsider use. And it did calm down after four weeks or so.
  • Be sure to clean your brush head weekly and change your brush head three-monthly! This is why:
New brush head VS old brush head! Maybe AW was right about me being dirtface!

New brush head VS old brush head!
Maybe AW was right about me being dirtface!

  • I went through a bit of experimentation on the best spot to apply your cleanser (to the skin? to the brush head directly? Somewhere else?) and have eventually nestled into a routine of applying cleanser directly to my face, then Clarisonic-ing. I found this to be the best method to ensure cleanser is evenly applied.
  • I regularly use the Clarisonic on my neck and décolletage too. Your face stops at your boobs, right Zoe Foster-Blake?
  • Move the Clarisonic in very small circular motions on your face. This is what the girls on the video do.

Want one? 

Get one online from! You can also pick up replacement brush heads, cleansers, replacement chargers there too. I got mine at Myer, I’ve also seen them in David Jones and Mecca Cosmetica.

At $175-ish, it is probably the most expensive skin-care tool you’ll buy in a long while. I was dubious… but I’d certainly replace mine immediately if there was a tragedy and it was no longer available to me. I’m calling it a small-pore, black-head-free, shiny-skinned Sublime Find!

♥AS (formerly known as dirt face)

Tried the Clarisonic? What do you think of it?  Tell us below!