When you’re about to start your first job out of college (or any job, for that matter), having “the talk” with your soon-to-be employer can and will be awkward.
Remember that negotiating your salary should be a mutual ground between you and your boss—not a day at the auction house. With these five tips, you will be well on your way to a stable paycheck!
*Oh, and you’ll have the chance to enter to win a copy of the just-released Diploma Diaries: The Chic Grad’s Guide to Work, Love, and Everything in Between, based on the online resource for college women, UChic.com. Details on how to enter are at the bottom!
Tip 1: Be Confident!
Before you even bring up numbers and timesheets, make sure you are comfortable enough to discuss compensation with your employer. Try to create an “elevator pitch” focusing on your intended salary. As you would practice any speech, write down key points and phrases you will need to hit on when discussing your pay grade. To get more comfortable, practice your “salary speak” on friends and family members.
Tip 2: Do Your Research
Not everyone was born an investment banker or stock broker, so how should you know what your paycheck is worth before the big meeting? Make it a vital part of your application process to look up what your intended field yields in the salary department. By talking with fellow career professionals or doing some online sleuthing on sites like Glassdoor.com, you can see what pay grades are comparable, reasonable or perhaps much higher than you are entitled to.
Tip 3: Value vs. Worth
As a new hire, take note of the applicant pool and how you match up against them. Providing your would-be boss with the facts instead of lofty adjectives on how determined and hardworking you will be puts your position into perspective. Take a look at your past experiences and use that to your advantage when debating your value to the entire company. While noting your ability to add value to an already compatible team exudes confidence to your boss, it’s equally as important to explain and show how you can prove your worth as an employee.
Tip 4: See Past Pay
Your salary is certainly a deciding factor in accepting one job over the other, but by looking past the paycheck and seeing which company offers the best advantages, you can end up negotiating much more than your income. If you’re working with a major corporation, you can find ways where the company offers great benefits besides basic health care and retirement packages. Companies also can provide education reimbursements or training investment in your given field.
Tip 5: Always Ask
Salary negotiation doesn’t have to end at the initial hiring process. Not dead set on your pay grade? Bring up the idea during your year review. Be persistent and allow your employer to take a second look at your value to the office once you have actually proven yourself in your ability to not only do the job requirements but move beyond them.
Also, give your boss a reason to want to pay you more! Take on additional responsibilities like individual projects, presentations or training sessions that will not only impress your employer but also give you the edge in your secondary negotiation phase.
1. Share with us one of the best life lessons you’ve learned while you were in college by commenting on this post below.
The giveaway will end on Friday, May 17, 2013 at midnight PST.
Emily Roseman is a recent Broadcast Journalism graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and is currently an editor/producer for ABC News Digital Media in New York City. During her time in Washington, she interned with BBC World News—where she covered the 2008 Presidential Election—and served as a Digital Journalist for MSNBC and USA Today. She also interned at the White House, serving in the Executive Office of President Barack Obama, and covered the 2012 Republican Primaries in New Hampshire. Emily has written for UChic.com since 2012 with a focus on career advice for young women, and most recently contributed to the U Chic’s Diploma Diaries, a girl’s guide to post college life published in May 2013. When she’s not at work or commuting to the city, Emily spends her time working on her photography and watching far too many Bravo reality shows.