North Texas Daily

New graduates should not be afraid to ask for higher pay in first jobs

New graduates should not be afraid to ask for higher pay in first jobs

New graduates should not be afraid to ask for higher pay in first jobs
April 21
17:00 2021

Stressing over life after graduation seems to be a side effect of being a senior. Those last few months before graduation become an endless search for job opportunities. And when rejection emails come too often, we often get discouraged, and yes, desperate. It feels like we will never get the job offer that we so desperately fantasize over. We see friends getting their dream jobs and it’s normal to feel left behind. 

Considering all those feelings, when the first offer comes to the table, college students tend to just grab it without thinking if it’s even worth it. Some companies take advantage of new graduates, offering minimum to no compensation in so-called “intern positions” offering valuable job experience and a chance to grow in the field instead. These might be good in theory, but you still have to pay the bills. 

When students get offered a job that pays lower than any intern should be paid, they think they can’t demand more because they are just inexperienced newbies, but that is not the case. If you get a job offer from a company, it’s because they see your value and because you have something to add to their team. Don’t cut yourself short because of your lack of experience.

It’s completely okay to ask for more money in those first talks. You just need to know how to ask. 

It’s important to always stay polite and watch the tone of our writing. Using phrases like “I appreciate the opportunity to be working in your company, but I would like to discuss the terms of compensation,” or “I will gladly accept this position, however, could we discuss the possibility of a higher salary?” are solid phrases to use.  

It’s all about your professionalism when asking that will make a difference. After you have introduced the questions, you need to give the reasoning behind asking them. It wouldn’t make sense to ask for more without actually arguing why they should give you more. As college students, we don’t have a lot of experience, but we have studied for four to five years and have learned a lot in the process. Don’t be afraid to bring up any small experience you have had during your college years. 

Graduates are afraid to ask because they also feel that it could lead to the company not wanting to go forward with the hiring process, which is very unlikely. The most they can say is “no,” and you can say that you at least tried. 

It also helps to do a lot of research. All fields are different. A web developer position won’t pay the same as a digital marketing position or a content writer position, for example. Research what is the common salary for a position in your field and go off of that to determine if the pay they are offering is fair. 

It can be stressful to not find a job after graduation, but with patience, the right one will come. The solution is to ask for an acceptable salary in your field or wait for a job that will appreciate your contributions and will compensate you for your worth.

Featured Illustration by Olivia Varnell

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Oriana Valderrama

Oriana Valderrama

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