Many of you have recently received, or are on the cusp of receiving, post-grad jobs and summer internships. It’s a great time of year that marks the end of the long, arduous job-search process.
It’s important, though, to not let the emotional relief of an offer lead to any hasty decisions. Before accepting, look at all facets of the opportunity — pay, location, start date, vacation time, and so on — and consider how they play into your future goals and current well-being. If there’s anything you’re not satisfied with, you’ll want to think about negotiating.
Negotiating, particularly with regards to salary and benefits, is fundamentally about ensuring your skills, experience, and education are fairly compensated. You deserve to be paid for the value you provide a company. Add to that, negotiating up front is not only easier than doing so after starting a job, it also helps ensure you aren’t caught off guard by any potentially unsatisfactory conditions of the position.
“Instead of looking at the job you’re applying for as a final destination, think of it as setting you up for the next job and perhaps the one after that, Lax advises. This shift in mindset will allow you to notice the advantages of negotiation in helping you gain the tools you need to grow and thrive. These tools might include a strong support staff, training, or a job title that will set you up for a future career goal.”
When to negotiate:
In terms of pay, wait until the employer broaches the subject. Bringing it up yourself might give the impression that you only care about money, not the actual work.
As this U.S. News Money article notes, most employers will start salary discussions after they’ve interviewed and decided to hire you, but before handing over an official offer for signature. This is the ideal time to ask for more money. The strong impression you made (as evidence by the offer) is fresh in the employer’s mind and they are likely anxious to move forward with your onboarding.
Preparing to negotiate:
Negotiation from a position of strength is dependent on preparation. Use sites like Glassdoor and PayScale to compare the salaries of people by company, job title, and location. You can also set up an appointment with a Career Services Advisor — we keep data on how much recent iSchool graduates and interns have been paid. Positioning your requested salary as comparable to others in the industry and people with similar backgrounds is a convincing argument. Help them understand why you deserve what you’re request.
For example, during the negotiation, you might say:
“After doing some research on Glassdoor, I saw that your company generally pays positions similar to mine between $XX,XXX and $XX,XXX. Considering my depth of relevant experience, I think I deserve a figure on the higher end of this range.”
“I talked with my career advisor, and recent graduates from UW’s Informatics programs that also went into project management received salaries between $XX,XXX and $XX,XXX. Considering my strong academic record, I think I deserve a figure on the higher end of this range.”
Also consider the cost of living. Where will you be located and how much will you need to comfortably get by in that city? Will you be paying off student loans, or need a car to commute? You don’t want to negotiate on the grounds of unnecessary personal desires (“Well, you know, I’m going to need a bit more money to afford that top-floor penthouse…”), but you should work for a salary that leaves some money left over after accounting for monthly expenses.
If you’re caught off guard by a salary negotiation — i.e., the employer brings it up and you haven’t done any research — tell them that you’d like to take a closer look at the job’s responsibilities and will get back to them soon. While not ideal, this is better than negotiating blind.
What about negotiating for things other than salary?
While this post focused on salary negotiations, as briefly mentioned above, there are numerous things you can negotiate besides pay. This U.S. News Money article covers six often overlooked, yet crucial, job benefits you should negotiate before accepting an offer.
Can I negotiate for time when deciding on an offer?
You can! Check out our previous blog post on this topic.
Present your best self.
There is nothing wrong with being assertive in asking for the salary you deserve. That said, make sure you remain gracious and kind in your negotiations. The better the impression you make on the employer, the more likely they’ll be to grant your request.
If you’re interested in more information on preparing to negotiate, watch this recording of a past workshop.
(Please RSVP via iCareers for any iSchool event you plan to attend, unless otherwise noted.)
No events next week.
UW Career & Internship Center
4/6: Resume Lab for International Students; 3:30 – 4:20pm, MGH 134
4/11: Grad Student Workshop: Identifying Values; 2:00 – 4:00pm, MGH 258
4/11: Getting Started: Career Fair Success; 3:30 – 4:00pm, MGH 134
4/12: All-Industries Career & Internship Fair (Tacoma Campus); 11:00am – 2:00pm, William Philip Hall (WPH)
4/13: Technology Career & Internship Fair (Tacoma Campus); 11:00am – 2:00pm, William Philip Hall (WPH)
Top job/internship opportunities:
- Student Assistant – DataLab – Spring 2017, UW Information School; iCareers ID 6035
- Data Analyst Intern, Amplero; iCareers ID 6020
- Threat Intelligence Intern, Infoblox; HuskyJobs ID 113614
- Librarian Internships, International Criminal Court; iCareers IDs 6027 & 6028
- Archives DFWs, Snoqualmie Valley Museum; iCareers IDs 4763 & 4764
- Sr. Application Developer, Starbucks; HuskyJobs ID 113618
- Software Engineer, Airship Industries; HuskyJobs ID 113616
- Library Technician – Medical Library, Virginia Mason Medical Center; iCareers ID 6022