Why it's (not) all about the money, money, money...

OK, so we know that your first salary as a graduate is important. Future moves within the same company, or even an external move, can be heavily influenced by that first pay packet, as can any annual bonuses, and the impact can last for years to come.

Saying that, headline salaries aren't always what they seem and you need to know what you're getting into. Let me give you an example:

Company A - starting salary £42,000

Company B - starting salary £32,000

Company A is the winner right? Now, obviously I'm simplifying this, and many other factors such as location, benefits, company culture, prospects etc. would come into your decision-making. However Company A pays the most money.


Or does it...?

Let's look a little deeper into the small print...

Company A - starting salary £42,000

Working hours - 50 hours/week

Contracted hours - shifts including weekends/bank holidays

Holiday allowance - 25 days

Pay/hour = £17.87

Company B - starting salary £32,000

Working hours - 37.5 hours/week

Contracted hours - Monday-Friday 9am-5.30pm

Holiday allowance - 25 days

Pay/hour = £18.16

See what I mean?

This is a real example of 2016 graduate salaries for 2 large companies in the UK.

When you factor in the number of hours work required, Company A actually pays less. Plus, the hours are far less flexible, so if it's important for you to have evenings and weekends free for friends or family then factor that in too.


So it's not just about the money, money, money if you have no energy or free time to spend it.


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