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How to negotiate your first salary according to a career coach

As millions of new college graduates enter the job market, some may have some idea of ​​what their first offers might look like. According to the Real Estate Witch Survey of 1,000 college students in March 2022, undergraduates expect to make an annual salary of $ 103,880 a year after graduation.

Their hopes may be slight, especially as many begin their careers with entry-level positions. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the starting salary for a class of 2022 Bachelor’s Degree graduates ranges from $ 50,681 to $ 75,900.

If you are a recent graduate, it is important to know that no matter what the initial offer, you can always negotiate. In fact, “know that the person on the other end of a phone call extending the offer is fully negotiated,” says Octavia Goredema, a career coach and author of “PREP, PUSH, PIVOT.”

Here’s how to make sure your first job offer is as close to what you want.

“Do your research in advance”

When it comes to considering your desired salary, before starting the interview process, “do your research in advance,” Goredema says.

“There are online resources that aggregate The salary brackets for those people in your roles and those brackets will vary depending on years and years of expertise and experience. ”Find your character’s title on sites like Payscale,, ZipRecruiter, Indeed and LinkedIn and see what rank employers are offering. Based on the range.

Remember when setting this range, from top to bottom, this should include as much (after taxes) a comfortable living wage as possible and “realize that no one will pay more unless you meet and exceed everything they are looking for,” says Stacy Haller, a career expert at

So bring evidence from your internships, work outside of school or work at a school that proves you are worthy of the top tier.

“Make a To-Do List”

Regardless of your salary, consider what benefits are important to you. Do you have some kind of health insurance to cover some visits to the doctor? Do you prefer an unlimited PTO? Are you interested in stock options?

“I make a list of must-haves and must-haves so you know what you want, at least if you go into your job search,” says Haller, “you should be able to give up a little bit.

Some companies list their perks on their websites, so if you are looking for a specific job, you can look at the company’s site to see what they offer. According to ZipRecruiter, some of the fastest-growing work perks include signing bonuses, remote work, pet insurance, and mental health and wellness benefits.

Say, “I want to discuss salary. Is this a Negotiable?”

As you begin your interview process, some companies will notify you in advance of the type of offer they are offering, allowing you to see if their package fits your needs. Haller says no one wants to “waste time with each other.”

If what they’re offering is your rank, or if they don’t specify what the job parameters are, wait until you have an offer to begin negotiations. “You’re in no position to negotiate your salary until they fall in love with you,” says Haller.

Once you embrace it, the character says, “You start out very positive about everything you’re excited about.” “But then I say,‘ But I want to discuss salary, is it negotiable? ’” Tell them the range you’re looking for and explain how your experience sets you up to excel.

They may come back to you with a salary in your ranks or they may say that they cannot offer much at this point. If they say the latter, you can bring up some of your other benefits priorities and say, “Can we talk about other pieces of the compensation package we can help?”

“There are always trade-offs”

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