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Workers unwilling to ask for a raise despite fight for talent

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Three in five (61%) UK workers are unhappy with their pay, yet most (55%) have never tried to push for a higher salary.

Despite the fight to find and retain talent in the UK, over half (51%) of those surveyed by CV-Library said the reason they hadn’t asked for a raise was because they didn’t want to risk losing their job.

More than a quarter (29%) also said they had become less likely to ask for a pay rise since the outbreak of COVID-19.


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Given the current fight for talent, and the resulting rise in starting salaries, CV-Library CEO and founder Lee Biggins said employees should be empowered, rather than cautious, about negotiating pay.

Biggins said: “In the last few months, we have seen the power shift back in favour of candidates and the year-on-year salary increases we are seeing across many industries already in 2022, substantiates this. 

“As such, candidates should feel able to negotiate on salary without fear of losing out on an exciting opportunity.” 

More than a third (40%) of professionals said they think asking for pay rise would make them seem too pushy, and 32% said they felt they didn’t know how to negotiate.

“The key to negotiation is to be prepared,” added Biggins. 

"Be sure that you know what you’re worth and what you can bring to the business that will justify a higher salary. To successfully negotiate a salary increase, it’s vital that you take the time to think about what you want, and you check out the latest salaries on offer for your specific role.”

Lawyers, teachers and new graduates were the most disappointed with their current pay packets.

The top three sectors with the largest average salary increases in January 2022 are: hospitality/hotel (up 65.8%), marketing (up 12%) and IT (up 11.6%).

CV-Library’s salary survey is based on the views of 1,500 professionals currently working in the UK.