Recent grad or entry-level worker – you can negotiate more than you think

Posted October 09, 2014 by
Recent college graduate and tuition price tag, horizontal

Recent college graduate and tuition price tag, horizontal. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Most recent grads and entry-level workers consider that they don’t have negotiating power because of their lack of experience in a certain field. Though experts agree that one’s bargaining power is strictly mental. If you believe you can do it, then you will.  Of course, this doesn’t mean walking into a negotiation, asking for something and getting it. You have to work for what you want, even if that means giving up your ego. Settling on salary terms can be challenging; nonetheless, if you can bring valid arguments to your claims, you have great chances of getting the most out of a proposed job offer.

Be prepared

You can’t walk into a job interview unprepared, especially if you’re a recent grad or an entry-level worker. Every business profession that demands a college degree comes with an average salary range. Before entering a job interview, it’s vital that you know that range; use it when negotiating, and if you think you deserve more, bring solid arguments to support that claim. Have a closer look at the data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Search your location and ask for last year’s graduate salary survey at the recruitment office of your college. You can only be unstoppable if you’re prepared – understand the hiring company, find out more about their goals and principles, be ready to answer questions, and showcase a decisive attitude. Most employers hate shaky, timid job seekers who can’t speak fluently.

Make your case for a more substantial salary package

As an entry-level worker or new grad, there are certain things you can argue to land a better paid salary package. Negotiate a “pay for performance” deal, talk about bonuses, and don’t hesitate to include non-financial incentives, too. Some companies can’t increase people’s salaries, but they can offer better working conditions, trainings, more vacation time, and so on.

Recent graduates shouldn’t focus solely on a monthly salary; they should consider a whole work package. What else can you get if you bargain? Some companies offer tuition reimbursement, while others may propose professional courses to help improve your agenda. New workers are more willing to learn and expand their knowledge than receive a high salary. In the long run, trainings and professional development courses can bring a lot more benefits.

Approach a negotiation the smart way

Both entry-level workers and recent grads should know this – everything’s negotiable. Still, they must approach a deal with extreme caution. Employers want to see that you’re being grateful. Win-win solutions and making concessions are also advised; you can’t afford to make demands but you are at liberty to negotiate and see your personal interest, too. Hiring managers will surely appreciate a job seeker who knows what he wants, and companies will always want to hire determined, strong-minded individuals.

Receive an offer, then negotiate

Don’t negotiate a salary without having received an offer first. You can’t know how much they’re willing to give you, so why take any chances? After a company has made you an offer, you can begin negotiating. Take a good look at the big picture, too. New grads are advised to use the first 3 years with a company to learn. Rather than focus on a high salary, turn your attention to helping the company thrive. Make people notice you and they’ll start appreciating your work. There’s plenty of time to negotiate a higher salary.

Recent grads should focus on kicking off their careers and not necessarily on receiving a high salary. Concentrate on what you can offer, think big and aim high. There are many good negotiation techniques you can use to convince a hiring manager that you’re a right fit for their company. Negotiation workshops can help inexperienced workers hone their skills. It’s natural to be nervous; with a bit of help from professionals, you’ll learn to master the art of negotiations.

Entry-level workers and new grads should stay focused on their goals. You can achieve everything as long as you’re determined to succeed. Money is important, but at a fragile age accumulating experience matters even more. Be ready to learn from the best, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and negotiate your way to the top.

By Christopher Austin and!

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