We have our workplace annual reviews coming up soon, this is when people in our organization receive pay-rises etc. The pay-rise is usually around several percent.

However I feel as I am being underpaid. I have worked at the company for around 4 years, 1.5 of them were spent as an apprentice but I have been a junior for 2.5 years, my pay is several thousand pounds less than what I've heard is offered to new hires at a similar level to me. I feel like I am paid less due to the fact I started at such a low level and due to my age (I'm 22).

At some point in the interview my boss will say something along the lines of "We're to increase your pay by 'x' amount.". I find it hard to say that I'm wanting a larger pay rise due to how final he makes it seem and not wanting to come off as ungrateful and also not wanting to offend my boss.

What would be the best way to approach this, I don't want to spend another year feeling exploited :(

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    Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and negotiate. After 4 years in tech you should be just about past junior. They won't talk higher raises unless you bring it up yourself. If they don't budge, but you insist on more, go job-hunting - that's the best way for a guaranteed raise (maybe not by much) but perhaps enough for you to consider it. You can also try to pull the "seniority" card if you can; staying "true" to a company should be rewarded. If they value and like you, they will listen. – user76389 Jan 29 '18 at 21:00
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    Try and talk in terms of pay versus peers and industry. "That is a nice raise but it does not bring me up to what new hires are being paid." – paparazzo Jan 29 '18 at 21:32
  • Did you not finish your apprenticeship 1.5 years seems very short – Neuromancer Jan 30 '18 at 0:03

This is sadly typical of the tech jobs and not unheard of. Believe it or not, someone was upset about how much you got paid when you got hired. Even if you got a raise, you're behind the curve because a new hire only has to get the small cost of living raise to match up yours.

You can definitely ask for a raise to match others. I'd go by position and what they're hiring for now. If you have a job listing or know the pay grade for your title, then ask for it. Don't expect them to agree though.

However, you'll likely not get it. The best way to get a raise is by getting a new job.

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From my experience it's a good practice to approach your manager a few months prior to reviews. This is what I do when requesting a raise. You set up a 1 on 1 meeting, you go to the meeting prepared with why you deserve greater compensation. I wouldn't start it off by "Mike in the other department gets X more", I would approach it by detailing your contributions to the team, your commitment to excellence, etc. You see where I'm going with this.

In your case where reviews are coming up, prepare yourself now by detailing your work, and preparing your case on why you deserve a raise of X. I would suggest potentially setting up a meeting prior to the review, since the review is normally a set agenda. Approach your manager that you would like to talk about your compensation, and would like a little time to have a dialogue.

Like Dan said, this set amount without negotiation seems to be the norm, so being proactive to get what you want is a must.

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Consider asking for a promotion. It past time to be paid as a junior dev. Ask for a developer position or a senior developer position and commensurate pay raise.

It is generally more effective to let people know your expectations outside the performance review process. Companies typically have a set budget for annual review raises and they spend a lot of time negotiating how to split that money up. It is better to let your desires for a certain amount be known well before this negotiation process starts so that you manager can push it. Once they have been set, giving you more typically takes away form someone else and at the point where they are telling people the amount, senior management is not as willing to do that. After all they may have already given out most of the pay raises before they get to you.

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