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Tips for a Great Comp Review

MARCH 05, 2024

Hiii! I’m Julie - Chief of Staff at Just Media.

Recently, Alex and I had my first comp review. Of course part of the convo ended up on insta, because duh, and it caught the interest of a bunch of you, so I wanted to share some insights on how I approached it.

For context: When I first joined Just Media, I knew I'd be taking a pay cut compared to my previous tech job. But for me, finding a job I could wake up to and be happy with every day trumped the paycheck. Plus, I had a plan: get my foot in the door, prove my value, and get back to my old salary ASAP.


Here's a tip: don't shy away from short-term sacrifices for long-term gains.

And MAKE IT so it’s SHORT term. Negotiating frequent compensation evaluations into year 1 of your contract can be a game-changer (you shouldn’t have to wait a year for a pay bump!!!). The promise of conversations every couple of months is enough if you prep for those convos like I outline below.


Now, onto the nitty-gritty of asking for that raise. The key? Build your case as if it's not about you – stay as objective as possible. This is how you get to a dollar amount that’s fair for you and your employer. Here's how I approached it:


First, you need to understand what factors go into deciding a salary. Generally it’s the fair market rate, your job duties/performance, and the company's financial situation (s/o to my senior year comp & ben professor). Then prepare your talking points accordingly. 


  • Fair Market Value: Utilize compensation reports and platforms like ZipRecruiter to gauge what's fair for your role. I used a report provided by a professional organization I’m in called Ask a Chief of Staff - which split out compensation by years of experience, city, company size, etc. 

  • Performance: Highlight quantifiable impact, especially on revenue-generating or supporting activities. Focus on concrete results rather than just tasks. QUANTIFY your impact. Example: Don’t say “I posted 7 TikToks this week, I hit my goal of one per day!” say “I posted 7 TikToks, the engagement was X percent above the previous 7 days, and it brought in Y number of dollars through the Creativity Beta Program”.

  • Company Financials: Have a grasp on what your company or department is bringing in and spending. Even if you're not privy to all the details, bring your best guess to the table and collaborate.


During the conversation, be open to questions and feedback, and be ready to provide some yourself. Finally, present the number you're asking for - make sure that number makes sense based on the factors above - and it should be an easy yes right then and there.

Alex is such a chill boss. And at the end, I was like “uhhhhh should we shake hands?” because the meeting felt so formal. But you know what? Over-preparation, strong communication, and staying objective is what officially got me my first raise.


OK! hit me in the DMs if you have questions on comp reviews from an employee’s perspective. Helping young women with conversations like these is something I'm super passionate about!!! Always happy to help :-) 


Happy negotiating!

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