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How to Approach Asking For a Pay Rise in Your Current Graduate Job

Asking for a pay rise can be daunting for many in any situation, but approaching your manager as a graduate / junior with this question is definitely something that can feel uncomfortable, especially if you’re not even sure on your worth.

Here’s what to consider if you think you are due a pay rise in your graduate role…

Figuring Out What Your Worth

Firstly it’s important to have a solid case for a pay rise, and this is something that takes research. A few ways you can figure this out is:

  • Salary checkers – Websites such as will show you a list of average salaries for the job role and location.
  • Glassdoor – Anonymous reviews will often share information about salary and benefits packages within similar organisations.
  • LinkedIn – Not everyone will want to divulge salary details but you can try to engage with connections within the same industry, or create a poll to look to see what others in your position are earning. You may even be able to find a poll already created with the results.
  • Join industry groups on social media – if for example you’re in a Software Developers Facebook group, consider asking the community what they think is the appropriate salary.

Your employer will be much more likely to consider raising your salary if they understand that it is in line with the market rate. Afterall, you could end up leaving for a company willing to pay you your worth, leaving them with hefty recruitment costs to replace you!

Understand Your Surroundings

If you’re working for a company who isn’t thriving financially, or is potentially making redundancies in some of their departments, it may feel ill-timed to be approaching your employer for a pay rise. However, if you feel as though you are taking over the duties of others and are not being rewarded appropriately, you could cautiously approach the subject. Discuss the current situation and your understanding for it above all else, but make your point on fairness. You can’t be expected to take on multiple roles at once and still be earning a lower salary than you would be in another organisation.

Talk to Your Manager Before Anyone Else

It’s a good idea to discuss the situation with your line manager before going any higher up so they don’t feel out of the loop and can provide some advice. Ask to have a formal meeting regarding your job role at their earliest convenience so they aren’t blind-sided and bring any useful documents with you. This could be a list of your duties, average salaries in the area for your role, a list of your achievements you’ve made since working for the company etc. Your manager should be able to give you the best approach on how to take this higher or manage your expectations on the process for working towards a rise in the future if now isn’t the time.

Declined Pay Rise Request

There’s a chance they will take you up on your request and everything will go as you wanted it to, but don’t feel disheartened if they say no. Ensure you understand their reasonings and that they’re justified. Ask for feedback and what you can do to achieve this goal. Consider also asking for a time-frame in which you may be able to achieve it, as it may just be that they don’t feel you’re ready yet. You could request to discuss it again at your next review when you’ve developed your skills further!

Don’t Burn Your Bridges

If you’re going to deliver an ultimatum such as handing in your notice if you do not obtain a pay rise, you need to be prepared for the fact they may not come back with a counter offer that you like. If this is something you want to go through with, make sure you remain professional and don’t behave poorly. It’s important to keep a good relationship with the company for future hiring opportunities, references and your own professional reputation too.

We've helped hundreds of ambitious candidates take their first step into the world of tech digital over the years. The feedback we have taken from all of these placements has helped shape our new Klickstarters solution enormously!

Get in touch with us today on 01244 739 999 or alternatively, drop us an email at [email protected].

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