Methods to negotiate the wage in your first job provide


Getting your first job offer is exciting – moving into full-time employment can mean a salary, benefits, and a path to financial independence. Before accepting an offer, however, it is important to assess what exactly the company is promising you and to negotiate your salary.

Most people hate to bargain (who can blame them) and don’t. According to CareerBuilder, more than half (56%) of workers do not negotiate when they receive a job offer.

But here’s a flash of news: Most employers will bargain – even for newcomers. According to CareerBuilder, more than half (53%) of employers said they were willing to negotiate first salaries. It’s actually built into their strategy: most employers offer a lower salary at the start, which leaves room for negotiation. So if you don’t negotiate, you could be leaving money on the table!

And the payouts from these negotiations can be huge – in some cases as much as 11-20% higher, according to Jobvite’s Job Seeker Nation Study.

Let’s say you’re offered a starting salary of $ 40,000 – 11% of that is $ 4,400! And that’s PER YEAR. So if you stayed in this job for 2 years you would have made $ 8,800 more. Three years – that’s $ 13,200. Also, if you’re aiming for a promotion in a couple of years, negotiate that salary from a higher level on the salary ladder. And as you level up, you’ll always earn more than if you settled for the first offer every time. That means paying off student loans faster, having more money in your pocket, being able to afford a nicer apartment / house – you have the idea.

If you think about it like that, why wouldn’t you negotiate?

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According to CareerBuilder, more than half (51%) of workers who fail to negotiate fail because they are not comfortable asking for more money. Almost half said they feared the employer would withdraw the offer. More than a third said it was because they didn’t want to appear greedy.

I sat down with a number of negotiation experts and those with negotiating experience to discuss tips on how to approach your first job offer.

How do I overcome the need for more money

“You always negotiate a job offer … job offers are dynamic,” says Liza Babin, a 23-year-old who works in the entertainment industry and has negotiated her salary for her first two jobs. “You picked you because you were the best person for the job and you have a lot of worth.”

Lisa Babin

Source: Henry Platt

She recommends never accepting a local offer and instead taking some time to research the market for that position. When you know what to expect from the negotiation, ask to go through the offer “very calmly, collectively and well researched”.

Kate Dixon, negotiation coach and author of Pay Up: Unlocking Insider Secrets of Salary Negotiation, said she advised clients to call salary negotiation collaborative. Formulating a raise like this keeps both sides on the same team. She suggested saying something like this, “According to my research, jobs like this between X and Y get paid in the market and I’m aiming for the higher end.

This type of phrasing shows that you have done your research and gives you a number of options to resolve that negotiation while also allowing you to confidently begin your relationship with the company.

But there are other options than just asking for a higher salary.

Peter Cappelli, professor and director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of Business, said another strategy is to require one-time payments, such as B. a signing bonus or greater coverage of moving costs. That can lead to more success than asking about the long-term cost of a recurring higher salary.

“Look for things that you think are easier to give to you and things that are valuable to you,” said Cappelli. He said knowing what to negotiate besides salary – like postponing the start date, more free time, or the job title – makes your negotiation stronger than making demands they can’t meet, like higher salaries or outside health packages their standard offer.

How to prepare for a negotiation

An important part of the negotiation process is being prepared for anything that might come your way. Knowing what is a reasonable request shows the company that you did your research to make a fair request. Cappelli stresses that it is important to have a reason why you are asking to negotiate. For example, if people close to you, people in other companies in a similar position, or candidates with your level of education tend to earn more.

“You need a reason why more wages are earned,” said Cappelli. “Just saying, ‘I want more’ won’t get you and you’ll start to look stupid.”

Using her previous experience as a basis for a raise was particularly important for Alba Disla when she negotiated her salary in her first full-time position with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team at Comcast in 2019.

Alba Disla

Source: Debbie Rabinovich

“I was very nervous because I just wanted a job … and I was so excited that I even got the offer,” said Disla of her dream job at the time. “I had no formal corporate experience, but I had a lot of experience in an academic environment, so I used that to buffer my counter-argument.”

Disla got her offer increased by $ 4,000.

“I was really happy to negotiate successfully because I was very scared of it, but I know it’s important when I start my career, especially as a woman of color,” said Disla.

“It’s really important to stand up for yourself early on.”

Dixon said it was common for first-time negotiators to be nervous, but it was important not to take what amounts to a business transaction personally.

“If you can create a little emotional distance, you can be a lot more effective in negotiating salaries,” said Dixon. “What a company offers you says more about how it values ​​this job than you are worth as a person.”

Negotiation risks

Often one of the biggest worries people have when negotiating is that the offer will be taken away. Negotiating a first job can feel especially risky as you are coming from a place of no employment and feeling like you have no influence.

But the experts I spoke to said the biggest risk is just for the company to say “no”.

“I’ve never seen an offer made to someone who negotiates in good faith,” said Dixon. “The risk of your offer being withdrawn for a negotiation is practically zero.”

Disla said that was exactly what she feared entering into negotiations.

“A really big psychological thing that I had to overcome was that part of me didn’t want to confront or counter them because – what if they take away the offer?” Said Disla. “But it just doesn’t happen that way … In the worst case scenario, you will get the original offer back.”

However, Dixon cautioned that attempting to drive someone beyond a “best and final offer” can cause frustration among your potential employers. Asking for more when the line is clear is the only negotiation that can be considered a “risky proposition”.

She recommends approaching a negotiation with gratitude and enthusiasm for the offer in order to make the negotiation positive. If you view the negotiation as a collaboration rather than competition, it will turn into a productive conversation rather than an aggressive situation.

Realize your worth

“Even if you don’t get paid, show who you are as an employee. You show them, ‘Hey, I represent myself. I understand my worth,'” Dixon said.

Understanding her worth, Babin remembers before starting a negotiation.

“When you come from this place of uncertainty, when you leave college with nothing to fall back on, it is so important to know your worth and be able to stay strong during these negotiations,” said Babin. “Make sure you remember your own worth throughout the process as it can be very easy to get discouraged.”

For women in particular, negotiating their first job is an indispensable introduction to a fair financial framework. Hired found that 63% of the time men were offered higher salaries than women for the same job. However, according to a study by Linda Babcock, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, only 7% of women try to negotiate their first salary, while 57% of men do so.

So negotiating is essential to get a fair offer – especially for women.

Jordan Mathews said she negotiated her latest job offer despite knowing the difficulty of negotiating a salary with the government because she felt that as a woman it was “a priority” to at least try. After three months of negotiation and a security clearance, Mathews joined the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Services team as a program analyst. Mathews said she did not regret the time and effort she put into the negotiations as she was “very pleased with the end result”.

Jordan Matthews

Source: Kamil Hamid

“I knew I had many skills and experiences that are valuable and deserve to be recognized in my salary,” said Mathews. “Don’t undercut or undercut skills that may be relevant. Everything is valuable … you have the most power when they want you. “

So, for anyone out there wondering whether or not to negotiate a job offer, you have very little to lose and potentially a lot to gain!

The experts I spoke to recommended LinkedIn videos, the NPR Life Kit podcast, or negotiation books for further education. Once you are in negotiations, Glassdoor and PayScale are great resources to get a feel for the market wage for your position. It was important for Mathews, Disla, and Babin to have a mentor to support them throughout the process in order to negotiate with end results they were satisfied with. Ultimately, don’t be afraid to bargain for what you think you deserve.

“People feel that millennials have a right that we don’t want to perform in a certain way, but I think we need to change our perspective,” Mathews said. “It is hopeful to have people who see their value and what they will add to a team [companies] want. It actually shows confidence. “

CNBC’s “College Voices” is a series written by CNBC interns from universities across the country about getting their college education, managing their own money, and starting their careers during these extraordinary times. Kelly Heinzerling received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree from Northwestern University. In the summer of 2021, she was an intern on CNBC’s creative services team. The series is published by Cindy Perman.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of CNBC.

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