All we want for Christmas is... a pay rise, say graduates SHOW US THE MONEY, SAY CASH-STRAPPED YOUNG WORKERS  

Bosses who hire graduates, take note: what your young staff really want isn’t a Christmas party or more time off. Four in ten say what they really want is… a pay rise.

A festive survey of 500 students and graduates by graduate recruitment agency GRB found that the top answer the question “What do you want for Christmas?” was “A 5% pay rise”, which 37% of respondents opted for.

The second most popular choice was financial assistance and time-off to pursue a professional qualification; voted for by 32% of the 500 plus respondents. Less popular was an extra week’s holiday which just 21% chose. Trailing in last place was flexible working hours which a mere one in ten opted for.

Reflecting on the results, Dan Hawes co-founder of GRB, said:

“The popularity of a pay increase is almost certainty a reflection of the financial pressures that graduates face in the current climate. Rising student debt and a degree of wage stagnation present many graduates with budgeting challenges. However, in spite of these financial pressures, one in three of the respondents selected employer support to achieve professional qualifications, emphasising the importance that graduates place on their professional development. They really do want to earn and learn.

“Having more time off or more control over your working hours turn out to be significantly less popular gifts to find in Christmas stockings, suggesting that today’s graduates are adopting a more pragmatic approach to their careers. An extra week’s holiday, while a ‘nice to have’ benefit, does not pay the bills or advance your career. If employers are tuned into their graduate recruits it is one step closer to having happier and more productive staff in their firm.”

Despite good news this week about falling unemployment, Graduate Fog knows that many of our readers are still job hunting, and many of those who are in work are struggling to get by on meagre wages (or no wages at all, if you’re interning unpaid). When it comes to the junior end of the job market, there is always much talk about the importance of gaining experience and skills. But employers must not forget that no-one – including cash-strapped graduates – can pay their bills with those. So come on, employers. Dig deep this Christmas?

If you’re job-hunting or interning unpaid (or expenses only), are you buying smaller gifts for your family this year? If you’re in a paid job, what would a 5% pay rise mean to you?

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