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First job out of graduation, negotiating salary?

sonick

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So I've recently been job hunting wanting to secure a full time, marketing-oriented position before I graduate. Yesterday I was extended a job offer at a real estate development company which develops condos and communities in the hugely lucrative real estate market in Vancouver.

They've tendered me an offer which is above my current wage (in a job totally unrelated to my career path), but lower than the wage I received when I finished my co-op work term.

I feel the duties and responsibilities meet or even exceed those of my work term position, and was hoping to get a wage equal to that of my co-op work term (about 2.5 grand less per annum). I would be working under three people (the hierarchy goes: marketing exec, marketing manager, marketing coordinator, and then me) whereas at my co-op I worked under just the marketing director.

At the interview, when we spoke i didnt have a clear idea of the duties, so i gave my previous compensation from other work experience. When they asked for references, I emailed them saying that after I heard more about the job from the marketing manager i'd be working directly with, that I would be looking at something closer to my finishing wage at co-op.

However, this is my first job coming out of school, should I just be content with it (beggars can't be choosers), or would it be okay to negotiate?
 

Sauwan

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I just accepted an offer myself. I would say that it is perfectly acceptable to negotiate. However, unless you have another offer elsewhere, it might be ill advised to do so. When you have another offer it is a lot easier because otherwise you have to be wary of them just saying no. Don't bullshit about having another offer either; I've heard stories of people doing that and then being called out on it later which didn't go well for them.

I would also suggest looking at the other factors (will you like the job? Moving costs, signing bonus, ect) besides salary. Some benefits packages can be quite hefty and actually make a significant impact on your spending cash. 401k's are essentially free money, and people really don't pay enough attention to what the company is willing to be giving you. While you might feel like the salary is low, it may actually be respectable if the benefits are right.
 

academe

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I would second that; find-out what the other benefits might be. For example, if there's prospect for fast advancement, etc. then your starting salary is important, but not necessarily THE most important factor. The first job out of college is usually the hardest to get, and if it's an organization that you would like to work for then it's worthwhile considering, in spite of the pay cut... I think employers are spoilt for choice for entry-level positions, especially in major metro areas like Vancouver, because they're such magnets for recent grads.
 

lithium180

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The above posts offer good advice.

Medical and dental coverage, 401k, company car and travel reimbursement - these kinds of benefits play a very important additional role in analyzing the value of an offer.

I would just have an honest talk with your hr coordinator or whoever is hiring you about the fact that you want to maintain your current earning rate and if they really like you and have the money in the budget, they will do what they can to help you out.

It never hurts to ask as long as it is reasonable and you approach it in a professional and non-confrontational manner (ie - "I have to have this or I'm turning down the job.") Have you done any research into what other's at your experience level are making in comparable positions in the area?
 

sonick

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Thanks for the advice all. Looks like most of the advice I am getting is to attempt to negotiate.

I have tried looking for comparable jobs in my area, but the info is limited as it is an entry level position and the only salary provided in the field is for managerial positions.

I tried looking through craigslist, but there are only a few that list compensation.

In retrospect after reading online, looks like it wasn't a very good idea to let them know my compensation in past work
 

Viktri

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Originally Posted by sonick
In retrospect after reading online, looks like it wasn't a very good idea to let them know my compensation in past work


They asked?
 

Piobaire

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Sonick:

When I was working my way up, a motto I lived by was that it is always easier to find a job when I have a job. It is amazing how that works. Take this job IMO.
 

sonick

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Originally Posted by Viktri
They asked?

No, that was my mistake. They asked what I was expecting for compensation, and I gave them past numbers... Stupid STUPID


Originally Posted by Piobaire
Sonick:

When I was working my way up, a motto I lived by was that it is always easier to find a job when I have a job. It is amazing how that works. Take this job IMO.


Ohyeah for sure I am going to accept the position, but I am planning on seeing if they would be able to give me that extra bit so at least it was on level from where I finished off in my past work experience.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by sonick

Ohyeah for sure I am going to accept the position, but I am planning on seeing if they would be able to give me that extra bit so at least it was on level from where I finished off in my past work experience.


Gotcha. Just make sure you negotiate from a stance of your worth and experience, not that you'd like to make as much as your last job or you need it or something. Also, I'm not sure from your OP, will you have one boss or three? If it is everyone above you, get that straightened out. The most frustrating position to be in is to have more than one boss or a chain of command that is not clear.
 

weedb0y

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Well, if you dont have any other offers on the table, I would accept it and then continue looking for a better matched position.
 

Viktri

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Originally Posted by sonick
No, that was my mistake. They asked what I was expecting for compensation, and I gave them past numbers... Stupid STUPID


How did the conversation go?

At the end of the interview @ my last job, the guy asked what I expected the wage to be and I said "12, or 10" (per hour) and he was like good, we start at 12.

Yours sounds like it wouldn't have gone as smoothly
 

sonick

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Originally Posted by Viktri
How did the conversation go?

At the end of the interview @ my last job, the guy asked what I expected the wage to be and I said "12, or 10" (per hour) and he was like good, we start at 12.

Yours sounds like it wouldn't have gone as smoothly


It went smoothly, but the salary talks were preliminary in the interview as I didn't get a full rundown of the description, which is why I gave them my previous compensation.

Once I spoke with the person I worked directly under and had a better idea of the duties and responsibilities, the compensation was discussed further via email when I sent my references.

When she got back to me with an offer she gave me the salary number. I am calling her back on Monday to accept the offer, and hopefully negotiate the salary (before I officially accept, of course).
 

mbc

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I am of the opinion that you should almost always ask for more money. Having been on the other side of the table for numerous recruitments, I have never seen a hiring manager make a salary offer that was the most they were able and willing to pay that candidate. Don't be unreasonable about it and don't lie, but ask for more.
 

gnatty8

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Where does the balance of power lie in your local labor market? If there is excess supply of graduates with similar skills, then you may not have much room to negotiate as at this point, you are unproven, undemonstrated, and commodity-like. If you are confident that there are more vacancies than people to fill them, then by all means, negotiate. I am in my 4th job in 7 years, and I negotiated salary at each.

If you conclude it is a buyer's market, you can always get in there, demonstrate your value, differentiate yourself from the other commodities, and then look for a raise at your first annual performance review. If they share the conclusion that you are a keeper, you should not have a problem.
 

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