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Show me the money!

As Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jnr demonstrated in 90s super-hit Jerry Maguire, negotiating around money is a pretty key skill in the business world. But it’s also sometimes one of the thorniest points in your job search.  Don’t worry, it’s not Mission Impossible, and thanks to some helpful research from the High Fliers Graduate Market 2013 Report, we can successfully navigate the winding labyrinth of pay.  Join me in reading (not)Tom Cruise’s guide to Graduate starting salaries (disclaimer: Tom Cruise probably does not endorse this blog):

The Colour of Money
The median starting salary for Graduate jobs in the UK is £29,000 which has been the case for the past few years.

Far and Away
£38,000 and above
At the very top of the Graduate salary scale lie the investment banks and the big law firms, often paying upwards of £38,000 per annum.

Top Gun
£29,000 - £38,000
The big consultancies tend to pay around the £31,000 mark with Professional and Financial Services hovering close by.  Oil & Gas also fits into this bracket at the £32,500 mark.

The Firm
£25,000 - £29,000
The majority graduate employers fall into this category, and it includes sectors like Retail & FMCG, Media and Engineering.

Minority Report
£24,000 and below
At the other end of the scale is the public sector, where the average starting salary is £22,000.

Source: High Fliers Research, The Graduate Market in 2013

Now, having gotten through this map of where your expectations could lie, I thought it’d be helpful to share my tips on negotiating salaries in your job search. 

  • Do your research – make sure you’re aware of what the going rate is for the job you’re applying to, it’ll give you a good context for your expected salary (see above)
  • Be realistic about what you’re worth – if you’re earning £25,000 now, then you shouldn’t expect to jump to £45,000 in your next move...
  • ...But don’t be afraid to back yourself – if you know what the standard rate is for the role you’re applying to, don’t undersell yourself when talking about the remuneration on offer.
  • Be wary of considering a pay cut – a lot of people say they’re happy to take a pay cut for the right role, and sometimes this is a good way of changing routes.  However, when push comes to shove, you need to be honest with yourself on whether you would be prepared to change your lifestyle for a new role.
  • Be consistent – if you’ve said that you expect £25,000 then don’t try to re-negotiate £30,000 later in the process
  • Remember that FreshMinds can help in this negotiation and save you the hassle so don’t be afraid to talk to us about it!

So, thanks for reading this piece of Collateral, I hope you now have a clearer understanding of what’s pie in the Vanilla Sky, what’s Risky Business and what’s Jack Reachable. Cocktail, anyone?