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Salary negotiation for fresh grads

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View Poll Results: Should fresh grads attempt to negotiate their starting salary?
Yes 21 70.00%
Hell naw 9 30.00%
Voters: 30. This poll is closed

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-03-2018, 10:45 PM
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Smile Salary negotiation for fresh grads

Hi,

I was wondering if it is advisable for fresh grads to attempt to negotiate their starting salary? I heard it depends on the industry and role, for example, in tech companies and banks. I heard govt roles have pretty much fixed pay.

Did some reading, and the general consensus in Singapore is that you usually can't, but "never try never know". Rarely do employers retract the offer.

Particularly, I'm more interested in hearing about success stories (and how you did it!) in banks and tech companies, since I think that companies will never offer you their maximum right off the bat, so I'm just really curious if it is a common practice to attempt negotiation.

Background: I'm a software engineer.

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Old 04-03-2018, 11:35 PM
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i'm not a techie but I've been working in banks ever since graduating 5+ years ago.

Perhaps not the story you want to hear - I've never negotiated for any pay packages but for different reasons, at different stages of my working life.

At the beginning, I was one of those that kept preaching about "experience over money".. and partly because I have low expectations to begin with + I was really a timid person. I just took whatever that was given to me for as long the scope is one that interests me.
Later, my moves were mainly through headhunters who handled the negotiation for me / direct recommendations from someone up there, so its fairly straightforward - $X or I walk.

Looking back, i felt i could've done better when i was just out hunting for jobs. Honestly,for as long you approach the topic in a professional manner, I don't any sane employers will retract the offer just because you try to negotiate...though I can't speak the same for SME...

That said, before attempting to negotiate, please do your own due diligence on the market rates. And that includes corroborating the figures on the market reports.. those figures tend to be overstated in most cases...

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Old 05-03-2018, 07:41 AM
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As a fresh grad there is no room for negotiation. When I graduated in 2012, a career coach mentioned to me that a fresh grad should not negotiate as we have very little or nothing to offer. We should ask to be paid reasonably as a fresh grad. This will protrait the right attitude to the employer.

From my personal experience, I have never negotiated as well. Mainly because I am happy with the increment I got. I had a 45% increase when I changed job in 2012.

I was in the banking sector for 3.5 years and left for a top MNC outside banking.

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Old 05-03-2018, 01:10 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

I guess I should mention the reason for asking this in the first place.
I've received a couple of offers so far, and there are 2 that are particularly interesting to me.
Company A) Graduate program, overall the company I prefer (Over B)
Company B) Direct hire, pays more than 10-15% higher than Company A.

Its a pretty tough choice to make honestly. If A raises/matches B, I'll definitely accept A. But I have student loans to pay off, so salary is pretty important right now, and B's offer is much more enticing in that aspect.

The difference is mainly better company (in my opinion) and better program, vs better salary.

Last edited by synchron; 05-03-2018 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synchron View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I guess I should mention the reason for asking this in the first place.
I've received a couple of offers so far, and there are 2 that are particularly interesting to me.
Company A) Graduate program, overall the company I prefer (Over B)
Company B) Direct hire, pays more than 10-15% higher than Company A.

Its a pretty tough choice to make honestly. If A raises/matches B, I'll definitely accept A. But I have student loans to pay off, so salary is pretty important right now, and B's offer is much more enticing in that aspect.

The difference is mainly better company (in my opinion) and better program, vs better salary.
Speaking from experience, your first job's pay rarely matters. Go for the better program, and keep improving yourself. I went for my first job even though it paid 25% lesser, but always kept learning and pushing myself to do better. 3 years later I moved on to a job that paid more than my superior's boss.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Speaking from experience, your first job's pay rarely matters. Go for the better program, and keep improving yourself. I went for my first job even though it paid 25% lesser, but always kept learning and pushing myself to do better. 3 years later I moved on to a job that paid more than my superior's boss.
Would you recommend going for a graduate program?
I've been hearing mixed reviews about it, some say its a great start ("fast track") to your career, others say it's a waste of time.
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Old 25-04-2019, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Would you recommend going for a graduate program?
I've been hearing mixed reviews about it, some say its a great start ("fast track") to your career, others say it's a waste of time.
Which industry u referring to? Bank/FMCG/Internet is real deal.
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Old 26-04-2019, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Would you recommend going for a graduate program?
I've been hearing mixed reviews about it, some say its a great start ("fast track") to your career, others say it's a waste of time.
mid career go for this program is a waste of time, because of social stigma, the dept heads wonder what to do with you, who wants to take you and let u blossom.....

fresh grad go in, must perform.. or else also can get stuck wondering what you signed up for.

graduate program is not the same as "scholar" in the public service. Many people mistaken. graduate program is for you to fight for the right to enter the fish tank. once you entered the tank, great, now each department head will admire all the "fish" and choose whom they think, will develop "a beautiful colour" and may win "first prize" for them. Those people who slacken the moment they entered and think of cruising, those naturally don't get stretched and left to resign if they prefer.

of coz, some organisations do have useless graduate program after they envy the banks for finding a talent this way... haphazardly put together a program.
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Old 25-05-2020, 10:12 PM
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Nothing wrong with a fresh graduate negotiating salary, although current job market may be quite challenging to do that.

However, with every salary negotiation, the key is to put together a compelling case to the employer of why you deserve the salary you are negotiating for. If an employer is deciding between you and another candidate - why should you be paid $x more?

This is definitely more challenging for fresh graduates with minimal or no experience. Think about whether you can justify the incremental salary with relevant internships you may have done, skills you have developed that's directly applicable in the role, a compelling portfolio, or what you can tangibly contribute.

One tip is that you can look at the company's goals and business problem, and put together a proposal or action plan on what you will implement if you are hired.
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Old 25-05-2020, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sharon.yeo View Post
Nothing wrong with a fresh graduate negotiating salary, although current job market may be quite challenging to do that.

However, with every salary negotiation, the key is to put together a compelling case to the employer of why you deserve the salary you are negotiating for. If an employer is deciding between you and another candidate - why should you be paid $x more?

This is definitely more challenging for fresh graduates with minimal or no experience. Think about whether you can justify the incremental salary with relevant internships you may have done, skills you have developed that's directly applicable in the role, a compelling portfolio, or what you can tangibly contribute.

One tip is that you can look at the company's goals and business problem, and put together a proposal or action plan on what you will implement if you are hired.
At this current situation, it is tough for companies to give you a higher salary. Companies are on preservation mode now. Dont give a textbook answer on how to negotiate for a higher salary.
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