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I've successfully navigated the job market and landed myself a graduate position for a junior developer job. I'm about to start working at an organisation which offers a base salary of ~$48K(AUD). While this is more than I have ever earned in my life and is more than enough to support myself and partner, I get the feeling that it may be lower than what I can get elsewhere. Advertised government positions for very similarl positions offer $10k more than this straight off. I only found this out after the interview stage (naive I know :) ).

I also got the impression that the salary was fixed and not particularly negotiable. As I have no bargaining power (no-experience and slow job market) I feel that asking for more, even with justifiable reasons and evidence could very well cause some problems and label me as a malcontent.

My question is generally then: What would be good tactics to raise these issues, while avoiding problems if possible?

As a side question, I'm wondering if applicants in general should raise these kind of disparities in pay, even if there is no bargaining power on their side, and not fear being seen as greedy or unrealistic?

closed as off-topic by Jim G., ChrisF, The Wandering Dev Manager, shivsky, CincinnatiProgrammer Dec 29 '13 at 22:05

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking advice on what job to take, what skills to learn, etc. are off-topic as the answers are rarely useful to anyone else." – Jim G., ChrisF, The Wandering Dev Manager, shivsky, CincinnatiProgrammer
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Hi, and welcome to The Workplace. While this is a good question that I absolutely feel for, I also felt, editing it a bit will make it easier to answer in context with the StackExchange guidelines. I put the focus on how to do it, instead of whether or not you should do it (but left that part in), because the latter will mainly attract opinion-based answers, which may or may not be useful to you, but probably won't be to anyone else reading this question. Feel free to roll it back if you think this edit is inappropriate. – CMW Dec 28 '13 at 11:29
  • Maybe a little blunt: Considering your (lack) of experience I would focus heavily on adding value to your organization. In 6 months they will have spent $40K on you (there's more than just your comp). You will almost certainly have not provided more than $40K in revenue to the company. Focus on making yourself valuable first, which then establishes relevance, and then the dollar figure should be pretty obvious and beyond justifiable. – Eric Dec 28 '13 at 15:47
  • @Joe Strazzere, yes they are the same thing where I'm from. – Mothermole1 Dec 28 '13 at 21:11
  • hi @Mothermole1 - how did you go in that first job a few years back? :) – Fattie Jun 13 '17 at 13:00
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    @Fattie, thanks for the question! I ended up doing the job for around 4 months, and then leaving to do a PhD, and just recently went through the interview process again with a different company (with a much higher salary). – Mothermole1 Jul 7 '17 at 10:43
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What would be good tactics to raise these issues, while avoiding problems if possible?

If you really want to raise these issues, just discuss them informally with your boss.

Be aware though, that you are very new to the working world, and you may be missing a few points:

  • Every employer knows that somewhere out there other employers are paying more for similar positions.
  • Not every position with the same title is the same. Some companies offer different growth paths, different training, different benefits, different expectations - for the same title
  • Many employers attempt to pay the "market rate" for a given role. Not the top, but not the bottom.
  • The market ultimately determines what an employer must pay to attract the right level of applicants for a given job. If you pay too little, you get fewer, lower-quality applicants, and can have a higher turnover rate. If you pay too much, you don't get to spend that money on other things (equipment, training, bonuses, etc)

As a side question, I'm wondering if applicants in general should raise these kind of disparities in pay, even if there is no bargaining power on their side, and not fear being seen as greedy or unrealistic?

I'm not sure you would be seen as greedy, but you may indeed be seen as unrealistic.

Attempting to change a company's pay scale, when you have just joined and then just realized "Hey, maybe I could have gotten more elsewhere", is unlikely to have any effect, unless you are in a top position, or in an HR recruiting role, or such.

When you eventually decide to leave and look elsewhere, do your homework first. Perhaps you'll decide to apply for a government position, and then you'll see what they are offering in total, and if you can get accepted.

Over time, you may find that the "grass is always greener" on the other side of the fence. And you may decide to find a position that works well for you, and learn to be happy with whatever job you choose, rather than worrying about what could have been.

  • Answered my question perfectly! Thanks heaps for your wisdom! – Mothermole1 Dec 28 '13 at 22:42

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