How to negotiate a pay rise

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

I’m currently going through the process of negotiating a pay rise and promotion for myself, and I’ve no shame in saying it is something that I have been incredibly nervous to do. I don’t have much experience in asking for more money, and sadly I find talking about money at work really hard! However, I got given some brilliant advice from the Step Up Club, that has really really helped me, and I honestly feel everyone needs to be armed with this weapon!

You need to consider the WHOLE PACKAGE. 

Never just ask for the thing you want, ask for more.

You need to have bargaining chips to play with. The clue is in the title, it is a negotiation which means making compromises.

Want a pay rise of £3,000? Ask for £4,000 and getting sent on a training course – you can then negotiate down to the 3k you really want. They think they’ve got a deal, and you’re walking away a very happy employee with the exact pay rise you wanted!  Only you need to know what the main thing you’re asking for – and you never know, they could surprise you by agreeing to your whole package!

Asking for more money is never easy, I’ve also been told that it doesn’t get much easier as the years go on! This isn’t the only step – they actually break it down into 5 key areas;

  1. Prep (most important) so you can show why you deserve what you’re asking for.
  2. Brand You – helps you go into the negotiation and not take it so personally.
  3. Self Promotion – take ownership of what you do.
  4. Transaction – when you use the whole package.
  5. Confidence – you’ve got this!

And after I graduated Uni, this was something that I was completely unprepared for – I wish someone had shared tips like this when I was first applying for jobs!

In fact, this topic was inspired from speaking to some Brighton Event Students, earlier this week – Matt James invited myself and my brilliant friends and First Steps co-founders Elena & Priya to be part of a web panel.

Matt is currently guest lecturing at a couple of Uni’s, and talking to students about the practicalities of entering the events industry, he’s got a strong knowledge to share having written and published a book called ‘Become an Event Planner: Secrets for Getting Hired from Employers, Recruiters, and Event Professionals‘.

Our web panel supported what Matt had been discussing, but bought in some context and advice for the three of us who have both been through the event education route, and are still in the early stages of our careers.  We shared things we’d wished we had known before entering the jobs market, what we weren’t prepared for after graduation, and why we advocate getting involved with the industry through networking, volunteering to name just a few points 🙂 

That, however, is another topic for another day!

For now, let’s start getting prepped to negotiate for more at work!


Take your space.

Photo by Hannu-Pekka Peuranen on Unsplash


That is the number of female keynote speakers at the 2018 consumer electronics show (CES) that took place this past week.

I see the same people speak at events all the time.

They are white, middle-aged, men.

You see this in technology, politics, educations, sciences and advertising.

The last four years I’ve been to the same show and heard a variation of the same debate. Education vs industry experience, yet none of the people on the panel had studied, or been down the academic route.

Lack of diversity equals lack of action, change and conversation.

Having the same type of person talking means the spaces become echo-chambers where nothing is learnt.

Yes, it takes time to search and find new voices, alternative opinions to create a diverse speakers list.

But I’ve got a very simple solution.

Put yourself forward for speaking opportunities. Gather your confidence and understand your experience gives a different approach to thinking, a valuable outlook that differs from those who speak all the time!

Or if you don’t feel comfortable getting up on stage, recommend colleagues and friends who you know have an opinion, interest and something of value to say.

I’ve been doing this for years – creating spaces that bring students and those of us in our early stages of our career into the industry discussions with The Student Sessions, First Steps and through my role as Vice President of Education for ILEA UK.

You have to remember that so-called ‘experts‘ are just giving you their opinions, even when they try to state it as a fact – so why can’t you share your opinions? We are an industry that is extremely lacking in diversity and we have to do more to develop it into a space that represents the wider world, and that comes from learning directly from those individuals!

So if you’re interested in speaking in more spaces – drop me a DM on twitter and let’s have a chat and see what we can do!


Time Management

Photo by Harry Sandhu on Unsplash

There are many articles and books that preach to be able to teach you the skills to be better at managing your time. It is pretty simple and isn’t some secret that ‘successful’ people hoard.

Fundamentally you need to make time.

That 20 minutes spent in bed every morning scrolling through Instagram – why not utilise it differently?

Your commute on the train – rather than watching last nights I’m a celeb, use the time to read/listen to a podcast/write your to-do list (insert thing you are aiming to find more time for)

Take some big names like Garry Vee, Sophia Amoruso, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Lewis Hamilton – each in very different careers, each working on multiple projects at once – they just know how to carve out time each day to hit their goals.

I often cite not having enough time to juggle everything going on, but I know the real issue is that I am just not making time for it. Sometimes it is far easier to watch Netflix (citing the need for self-care) than give myself half an hour to make headway with a project!

10/15 minutes might be all that is needed!

So if like me you’re struggling to balance your time – join me in my December aim of carving out slots of time for all those things I am still to complete!

You might be a fan of certain apps. I’m keeping it old school with my handwritten to-do list & a better focus on what I need to get done before the year is out!