I was hired as a fresh graduate straight out of university for a mid-level position in a company last year. At the time, due to being a fresh graduate, I took a salary slightly below market rate for my position.

My yearly review is coming up next month, should I bring up how I now have a year of relevant experience in the field (and as such, could probably get at least market rate if I went somewhere else) or is that considered a given during a yearly review?

  • When you define "market rate" what level of experience are you taking into account?
    – dwizum
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 16:30
  • @dwizum A few years, I guess? The job advertisements generally don't say they want 'X years of experience' or anything (they just say 'experience'), so I figured that the average person applying has 2-5 years.
    – toady_two
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 6:29
  • So - at zero, or one, years of experience, how do you think you should compare to a "market rate" for people with 2 - 5 years? Not being facetious, I think it's a legitimate question. In some positions, total newbies aren't really valuable at all for at least several years. In others, someone with 1 year might be interchangeable with someone with 5.
    – dwizum
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 12:27
  • I honestly have no idea. I'm the youngest in the office by about 3-4 years and after a year here I'd say I'm at least on par with the other people here, but that could just be Dunning-Kruger effect.
    – toady_two
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 6:20
  • Bonus points for knowing what the D-K effect is. I don't mean to harp on a single point, just food for thought - it may be appropriate for you to be paid under "market rate" if the people that constitute "market rate" all have more experience than you. Or the opposite may be true, if you're as effective as them, then yes - you should be compared to them. Some employers handle progression like this via raises but others handle it thought titles (ie after 3 years you become an "II" and after 8 you become a "III" or something like that).
    – dwizum
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


The fact that you now have a year's experience will be obvious, there won't be a need to state this.

Any salary increase will be based on the company's policy and your performance during the review period.

If you don't get a "market rate" equivalent salary after your review, then it's up to you as to whether you stay and gain more experience in the job you have or whether you want to risk looking for another job.


It's perfectly reasonable to tell your manager that you believe your value to the company has increased since you have proved your worth in your mid-level position, and that you believe your pay is below the market rate.

Your company might make perfectly fair and timely decisions about salary increases, but I wouldn't bet on it. Your request for a raise might cause your employer to decide they need to give you a substantial raise now, rather than wait a while, perhaps until the following year.

Note that at many companies, salary increases are decided on before employees receive their reviews. So, the best time to ask for this raise may well be now rather than next month.

Bottom line: at many companies, if you don't ask for a big raise, you don't get one.

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