Career Newsletter, 11/27/18


Some of you have recently received, or on the cusp of receiving, offers for post-grad jobs and summer internships. While this is understandably exciting, it’s important to not let the emotional relief of receiving an offer lead to any hasty decisions.

Before accepting, consider all facets of the opportunity — pay, location, start date, job autonomy, professional development, etc. — and consider how they play into your values, goals, and well-being. Consider negotiating if there’s anything with which you’re not satisfied. (Even if you are relatively pleased with the offer, respectful negotiation will still ensure your compensation package is commensurate with the value you’re bringing.)


Negotiation, 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 (that is, after receiving an offer but before committing) is not only easier than doing so after starting a job, it also helps make sure 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.”

Slide from Negotiation & Decision Making Workshop


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.


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 find salary information on your program’s Canvas page, or set up an appointment with a career advisor — the iSchool collects 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:

“I have done some research on Glassdoor and saw that your company generally pays $XX,XXX- $XX,XXX for this position to recent college graduates. Given my level of experience, I think I’ll provide my team with a level of value that warrants a salary on the higher end of this range…”


“I talked with my school’s career advisor, and they indicated that recent graduates from the [iSchool degree] program that also went into [job type] received salaries between $XX,XXX and $XX,XXX. With that in mind, I’d like to be considered for an offer within this range…”

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 hear more about the job’s responsibilities and develop a better understanding of its full scope. While not ideal, this is better than negotiating blind, and may even prompt them to give you an estimated salary range.


What about negotiating for things other than salary?

Salary is the most commonly negotiated aspect of a job offer. It makes sense, given both the immediate and long-term benefits of even a relatively modest pay increase. You can see in the chart below how negotiating an additional $7k on your initial offer would yield nearly $100k more over 10 years, assuming a five-percent pay increase each year.

Slide from Negotiation & Decision Making Workshop

That said, while salary is an obviously important factor to consider, there are numerous things you can negotiate besides pay. Some employers, for example, might be more willing to negotiate equity or vacation time, since these are often accounted for in a separate budget and/or manner. The exact aspects of your offer that are negotiable will vary by employer, but below we’ve outlined some things that are generally more flexible in an offer.

Slide from Negotiation & Decision Making Workshop


There is nothing wrong with respectfully asking for the salary you deserve. That said, make sure you remain gracious and kind in your negotiations, rather than instead of sounding demanding or pretentious. 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 our recording of the Negotiation & Decision Making workshop.



iSchool: More info and registration via iCareers

(Missed a workshop? You can always review our recorded sessions online.)

There are currently no more iSchool career workshops or employer events planned for Autumn Quarter. Events for Winter Quarter will be posted to iCareers and the main website soon.

UW Career & Internship Center


Event hosted by Buerk Center + SEBA. Apply by Jan. 4 here.



  • Linked Data Specialist, UW Libraries; iCareers ID 8266
  • Software Development Engineering Internship, Cambia Health Solutions; iCareers ID 8267
  • Software Engineer Intern, Gap; Handshake ID 1959580
  • Institutional Data & Analysis Intern, UW Office of Planning and Budgeting; Handshake ID 2178451
  • 2019 Grad Student Internship – Building Data Image Archive, National Center for Atmospheric Research; iCareers ID 8243
  • Digital Archives Internship, Button Museum; iCareers ID 8275
  • Software Engineer, QuantumScape; Handshake ID 2074563
  • Software Engineer, Wyatt Technology; Handshake ID 2131974
  • Librarian – Outreach, Pierce County Library System; iCareers ID 8268


Questions or feedback? Contact us at | iCareers

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