I just had my first annual review for my first job (recent college grad). Review went very well. Met all my goals as well as exceeding a couple. Same goes for other expectations not directly related to my position.

I wasn't sure how to go about asking for a raise in general, and ended up asking about it at the very end of the meeting. At that point there is filled out paperwork of a raise ready for me. It caught me quite off guard as I thought we were going to start negotiating a bit. At this time I agreed to the raise.

Immediately after I regretted saying yes so quickly as I believe that I could've and should've gotten a higher amount. My question is what are best next steps? Do I just understand that I messed up during my first review process and take this as a learning experience? Do I bring it up to my manager in the near future and talk through it? I don't want to come off as being ungrateful for receiving a raise, but I also don't want to miss out on a year of higher pay because of a lapse that I had for a minute.

If I were to bring it up, I also don't know how much an appropriate amount would be to ask for. The only real reference I have been using as a guideline for averages in my position and region are Glassdoor.com. According to that I am paid ~10k less than the median salary for my area in my position. I don't know how much merit to give that, as I realize that the same position/title may not necessarily mean same responsibilities, skills, etc. at different companies. I also am only one year removed from college and understand that I may not receive the area median pay right away either.

  • see also: How can I determine a reasonable salary to ask for? – gnat Jun 22 '15 at 23:47
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    You maybe right, but Glassdoor.com isn't exactly scientific, they probably just use whatever info they can mine. – Mark Rogers Jun 23 '15 at 1:06
  • I also don't know how much an appropriate amount would be to ask for. - One way to determine this is to interview or a similar position at an another company and observe the highest offer they are willing to make. – Brandin Jun 23 '15 at 12:35

If they've already picked a number and prepared the paperwork, it seems extremely unlikely that the would be any room for negotiation, even if you weren't caught off guard.

One thing to bear in mind is that raises in your first job will seldom come close to the increase in pay you could get by changing jobs. Long-term loyalty to your first employer is not the path to big money.

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    +1 - these reviews are not an invitation to a raise negotiation - you can ask for more, before or after, but you have no stakes to offer other than "quit" if you don't like the preferred raise. – mxyzplk Jun 23 '15 at 3:46
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    I hate to say this, but you should plan to leave your first employer at around the 2 year mark. To not do so is to hamstring your future earning potential. – James Adam Jun 23 '15 at 12:44
  • @JamesAdam I cannot disagree. That's what I did and it worked out quite well for me. – Carson63000 Jun 23 '15 at 23:11

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