Career Advice Tuesday: Want a payrise? Don't do this.


Another “Equal Pay Day” has come and gone and the news wasn’t good. Women still lag behind men in the salary stakes by 18.2 per cent. Women are not to blame for the historical pay gap but there are still things you can do to safeguard your bottom line.

Here are three ways you may be stunting your salary growth.

1. Staying in the dark

Information really is power when it comes to salary. It’s absolutely essential you know three things:

What your job role is worth on the open employment market. Check salary surveys on recruitment and industry websites. Consider asking your HR department if they will share their salary band info for roles like yours. (I’ve done this.) Also check in with people doing the same kind of job. While it’s rude to ask someone what they earn, it’s fine to pose a casual question: “What do you reckon the latest salary range is for roles like ours?”

The dollar value of your contribution to the company. Easier if you’re in sales but try. Did an idea of yours help the company save money or make money? Do you have a skill that is hard to hire making replacing you an expensive option?

2. Are you filling more than one job role?

How do salary reviews work in your organisation? When do they take place? What are they based on? If you get a knock back from your manager then it’s OK to ask her or him what specific things you need to do to earn the money you want.

3. Staying silent

If I had a dollar for every woman who asked, “why should I have to ask for a payrise, my manager knows what I do?” I would have enough money for a pair of Christian Louboutins.  Why should you have to ask? Because you want a pay rise. Men think nothing of asking.

Take a look through some other career advice from successful women: 

Have you ever asked for a payrise? How did you handle it? Do you have any advice?

Blogger and coach Kate Southam has specialised in employment and careers for more than a decade.  A regular contributor to media, Kate has appeared on The Project, Today, Sunrise, Morning Show and Sky Business as well as radio programs around the country and many magazines and websites.

Kate was the founder editor of News Corporation’s national employment website Her weekly advice column Ask Kate was published by more than 100 newspapers and her former blog Cube Farmer by She started her career as a journalist and has worked for the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Radio, the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and as a freelancer in London.