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Let's Make a Deal
Negotiating for a higher salary or more perks can be frightening at first, but if you let the offers come to you, you can end up with a deal on the table.
"A lot of people feel, when they go out into the job market, that it's the employer interviewing the person, and it really isn't." -Eric Levinson, Broderbund Software.
But this attitude is not an accurate reflection of what it's like in every industry. In most fields, you can expect to get more than one offer, which means you won't have to settle for the first one. While most entry-level job offers don't leave much room for salary negotiation, some do. And, sometimes, even if you can't get more money, you can request additional perks and benefits that are sometimes just as valuable as the cash.
Know Your Worth
Wait for the Offer
Negotiate the Package
Develop a checklist to help prioritize each aspect of the job offer. If you know which benefits you value most, you will be prepared to defend your requests later on. For example, if your request an educational stipend, you can present it in terms of skill development and personal growth. If you have a plan, especially a course of study that relates directly to your career, that's all the better. If you are relocating to take a job, ask for reimbursement of some of your moving costs. These requests are realistic and practical, and don't require much out-of-pocket cash from your employer.
Other benefits that don't cost the company very much include daily travel expenses, extra vacation days, flextime, commissions, a cell phone, better technology, or participation in the company's 401(k) plan. In the investment banking industry, for example, many analysts receive a stipend for dinner expenses and are chauffeured home when they stay late. These small expenditures go a long way toward making employees happy and loyal.
In this period of intense recruiting in many fields, don't immediately settle for the first offer. Use these tips to increase your value-- and to score a lucrative entry-level employment package.
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