Many of you have recently received, or on the cusp on 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.
There’s more to negotiation than short-term satisfaction, too. As this blog post from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School notes, negotiation can set you up for long-term success:
“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, and not the actual work.
As this U.S. News 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 (or more vacation time, a more flexible schedule, etc.). The strong impression you made is fresh in the employer’s mind — as evidenced by the offer — and they are likely eager to move forward with your onboarding.
Preparing to negotiate
Negotiating from a position of strength is dependent on preparation. Use sites like Glassdoor and PayScale to compare salaries by company, job title, and location. You can also set up an appointment with Dean (reminder: he’s gone for the next couple weeks) — the iSchool puts out a placement survey to graduates each year, and we receive data on how much students go on to make out of school. Framing your requested salary as comparable to others in the industry and people with similar backgrounds is a convincing argument. Help the hiring manager understand why you deserve what you’re requesting.
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 school’s career advisor, and they indicated that recent graduates from the Informatics program 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 lavish personal desires — the company won’t be convinced by your demands for a 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 you’d like to take a closer look at the job’s responsibilities and will get back to them soon. While note ideal, this is better than negotiating blind.
What about negotiating for things other than salary?
While this post focused mainly on salary negotiations, as briefly mentioned above, there are numerous things you can negotiate besides pay. This Forbes article lists 10 things you can ask about in addition to salary (the list is buried a bit down in the article), and this Muse article lists five more, with some additional insight on how to negotiate in those particular domains.
Can I negotiate for additional time to decide on an offer?
You can! Check out our previous blog post on the topic.
Present your best self
There is nothing wrong with being forward in asking for the salary you deserve. That said, make sure you remain gracious and kind in in your negotiations. The better the impression you make on the employer, the more likely they’ll be to grant your request.
For more on the topic of negotiation, check out this recording of Janet Matta’s workshop on the topic from last quarter.
(Please RSVP via iCareers for any iSchool event you plan to attend, unless otherwise noted.)
4/10: Job Search Burnout; 12:30 – 1:20pm, MGH 258
Tired of job searching? Attend this workshop to help rejuvenate and remotivate your search. Session led by former iSchool career adviser Janet Matta.
UW Career & Internship Center
4/9: Virtual Career Fair Success Workshop; 12:30 – 1:00pm, online
4/10: ResumeFest!; 10:00am – 4:00pm, MGH 134
4/10: Career Fair Success Workshop; 3:30 – 4:00pm, MGH 134
4/10: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) InfoSession; 5:30 – 7 :30pm, MGH 134
4/11: Spring Job & Internship Fair; 3:00 – 7:00pm, HUB Ballrooms
Meet the team and learn about opportunities at New Engen, an area startup focused on solving complex digital marketing challenges. Register using above link.
4/11: UW Women’s Center: Salary Negotiation Workshop; 3:30 – 5:30pm, ECC Unity Room
Start Smart workshops are specifically designed by AAUW for college women about to enter the job market to end the gender pay gap. However, all students are welcome. RSVP using above link.
4/12: UW Women’s Center: Salary Negotiation Workshop; 3:30 – 5:30pm, HUB 334
Same workshop as above, different day. RSVP using above link (different than first workshop).
4/17: Microsoft Azure University Tour; 11:00am – 2:15pm, HUB
See where the cloud can take you at a free learning event for student developers, faculty, and staff. Connect with experts, build your cloud skills, and get inspired. Register here.
Contestants will compete against other students in challenges inspired by iconic game-shows, including Family Feud, Jeopardy and more. More information here. Register using above link by April 10.
Top job/internship opportunities
- Student Assistant – Web & Computing Support, UW Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel; iCareers ID 7413
- Data Science-Software Engineer College Intern, Zappos.com; iCareers ID 7397
- Data Analyst Intern, Wizards of the Coast; HuskyJobs ID 125312
- Security & Infrastructure Consultant – Intern, West Monroe Partners; HuskyJobs ID 125251
- Summer Graduate School Internship, Win/Win; iCareers ID 7400
- Library and Archives Internship, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; iCareers ID 7399
- Software Developer (Part-Time, Temporary), Allen Institute for Cell Science; iCareers ID 7409
- Operational Engineering Visuals Designer/Engineer, Wizards of the Coast; HuskyJobs ID 125181
- Associate Java Developer, Expeditors International of Washington; iCareers ID 7056
- Library Supervisor I (Eligibility List), Sacramento Public Library; iCareers ID 7405