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Graduates: Negotiating For Your Roles Early On

Alan Writer

How well you can negotiate at the beginning of your career will help you long term. Then, of course, you may think to yourself, simply be thankful that after graduation, you've received a job and others may have not, and take whatever the first offer you get. Yet that doesn’t mean there’s not some room even at this early stage for negotiation.

It’s not just about salary

One thing many fresh graduates and even seasoned workers seem to focus on is that annual number that's broken down onto a monthly basis, the salary. That's one piece of the overall scope of benefits possible.

Truly understand the entire set of benefits that are being presented and focus on those. Companies may not be able to move on salaries easily, especially with fresh graduates, but that doesn't mean you can't ask for other benefits.

See what the working situation is like

Especially with the new normal around us, see what the hybrid working solution is if there is one implemented. Ask for more days to work remotely or from home instead of commuting to the office. Look to see if there's any type of budget to cover setting up a work-from-home office. These items start to add up eventually and can help reduce your overall costs, making you keep more of your salary.

Look at holidays

Holiday packages will vary from company to company, but it doesn't mean you're not able to ask for more upfront, especially if their offering is below the industry average. Yes, you're starting out in your career, and you may not even use all your holidays early on, but it sets that foundation as you progress in your career and what your expectations will be.

See what the training offering is

Another great way to add benefits is by asking for additional training and certifications, with the company covering costs. This will help make you more marketable for your future career path and help the company have an employee who is always growing. These can be seminars to even obtaining additional university degrees. This tends to be one of the more flexible areas within some companies.

Don’t be afraid to ask!

If you don't ask, you won't know. You want to be able to give yourself a good start in your career by laying the foundations and mentality to be able to ask for additional compensation or benefits at the beginning comfortably.

This means every time you grow your career, switch roles, or ask for a promotion; you'll have the practice and confidence to get the compensation and benefits package you deserve.

Otherwise, the companies will negotiate with you and give you their bare minimum every time, if possible, to do what may only be best for the company and not always be best for you. You may also end up with an employer who says no to everything, and that can simply be a sign not to make it a long-term career choice there.


We, at The UK Careers Fair, would be more than happy to help you find a job after graduation. By attending our career fairs, you get the chance to meet with hiring employers in one room!

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