As we approach the beginning of another school year, new students are excited to begin their journey and seasoned learners look forward to hitting the books again during the fall semester. But what about the recent graduates whose yearly return to academia is over and replaced by an ongoing, stressful search for their first job? In past blogs, we provided interviewing tips. Now, let’s discuss what you should do if you receive the sought after job offer. Do you accept the job right away or do you negotiate in hopes of obtaining a higher salary. Men are statistically more likely to negotiate their compensation than women, three times more likely according to a recent article in Forbes. Many new grads are led to believe that companies often start with a lower salary expecting the candidate to negotiate.
However, a professor recently wrote a cautionary tale about salary negotiating at his university. He explains that a recent graduate aggressively tried to negotiate his offer, citing that his degree was worth five years of on-the-job experience. When the hiring manager stood firm at the offer originally presented, the candidate went as far as contacting the superiors of the hiring manager to make his case, at which point the professor became involved. The professor notes that the candidate had a self-righteous and entitled tone in his communications and grossly misinterpreted the facts of the negotiation, leaving everyone in the department with a bad taste in their mouth. For the full story read more here.
- Do your research: Look up the position you are applying for at similar companies. Is the compensation comparable? There are websites that can help with this research such as glassdoor and salary.com. Also know what you bring to that job. Are you more experienced or will you be growing into the position?
- Know your salary floor: If there is a salary point that you cannot go below, be upfront about it, as employers would rather know ahead of time to expedite the process.
- Know the company: If you are applying for a position at a start-up or a non-profit, the job will likely have a lower salary due to the financial constraints of the company. If you are not willing to accept that reality, then you should look elsewhere.
- Take everything into consideration: Is the salary low, but present the opportunity for rapid growth? Does the company provide 100% paid healthcare? Remember, starting salary isn’t everything, so look at the total compensation package. If you’re not sure if the offer is competitive, ask a trusted mentor.
- Be respectful: Know your limits. If the offer is firm and there is no room to negotiate, the hiring manager will likely tell you. At that point you need to look at all the aspects of the position and decide if this is right for you or if you need to walk away.
Good luck interviewing!