Post # 1
Next week I will be interviewing for a position at a place I recently interned for. I interned there for the last month of college along with 3 other girls I graduated with. It is a long-term care facility, and my major is in Health Information Management.
One of the girls, let’s call her Anne, got a great position right at the end of our internship. Another girl, let’s call her Sara, got a position, left, and now I am interviewing for that position.
Anne will be one of the ladies interviewing me, and I am pretty positive I have a good shot at getting an offer.
I am credentialed as a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), and upon doing research, this job typically makes $45k – $50k. Knowing that I am a recent college grad, I understand I fall on the lower end since I have less experience. But I DO have credentials which many others do not.
I contacted Sara to ask her about the position and she told me she made $31k. That is WAY too low for this job…especially in the city I live in. I talked to my mom, who is the Director of HR at a large law firm, and she agrees that is way too low. I remember Sara saying at one point she would be fine making $19k…….I don’t think she understands how low that is…so maybe she was the one who made it $31k by asking for that. I’m thinking too much lol
Sorry for all the info, but I figured in order to get advice you need to know the facts! So, my question is…how much should I ask for if they offer me the job? $45k? Knowing that they will counter way lower? I keep going back and forth in my head over what I should ask, or what I should say to them…especially after doing research about the job. They don’t know that I know how much Sara made. I want this job as it will offer great experience but I know that there are so many other jobs I’ve applied for that offer much more than $31k.
Thank you for any advice/input! It’s greatly appreciated 🙂
Post # 3
Every job i’ve had, the company made the first salary offer. You negotiate from there (in my experience, which is only 2 jobs in the “real” world so far).
If they ask you to name a price, I would say that you should cite the research you did, point out that you have a lot more credentials than someone just out of school typically would, and ask for something in the $50k range. Let them make the next move. They should offer in the high $40s, or meet your asking price, so you’d end up where you want to be. It’s obviously not wildly off base, so I doubt you’d lose the job over a fair offer, and if you do…they take advantage of their employees, and you don’t want to work there anyway!
Post # 4
I don’t know if I’ll be much help, but I’ve never worked in a position where they asked me what I wanted to make. They told me what they were going to offer. They were potentially negotiable in that if I said it was just too low and I couldn’t live on that little, they might come up a bit, but for the most part, the salary was the salary and my opinion wasn’t asked.
Just wanted to let you know, just in case that comes up..
Post # 5
I am posting to follow this… I recently got a job offer and my friend said I should have negotiated my salary. I was comfortable with the salary so I didn’t see the need.
But I would set a limit for yourself of the absolute lowest you would accept the job for. It’s just good to have that in mind and stand your ground.
Did Sara have the same credentials as you?
Post # 6
Agreed. I think in some high positions they will ask candidates basically what the new job would have to pay, so that the candidate is willing to leave their current job. I have also read it might not be good to “name a price” but to let them make the offer first by saying (if asked) “I have done research on the position and the industry standards, however the appropriate thing is for me to take an offer.”
Just what I have read/heard!
Also $31k does seem really low!! Make sure to consider taxes and insurance if you’ll be paying for it.
Post # 7
Starting salaries are much lower than they have been in the past. I have found after researching jobs that salaries are way lower than what you find as an “average” of the starting salary. It was depressing! I don’t know much about negotiating, but I’ve just found that information out there is often wrong…even what they told us in college. Anyone else feel this way?
Post # 8
@highschoolhoneys: that’s actually a good point bc salary isn’t everything. you have to take the benefits package into consideration, as well. i make more now than i did at my last job, but i have to pay for some of my health insurance AND it sucks so i pay a LOT more in medical bills than i did before AND there’s a mandatory retirement fund I have to pay into. im not really making any more!
i do like asking them to give the first offer. my FI’s dad is president of a company nad he says the answer he likes is, “this is the salary i have to make to live, but this is the salary i’d like to make” answer. give them 2 answers, your bottom line and what you’re actually hoping to get – and he said he usually ends up somewhere in the middle.
Post # 9
Thank you everyone for your input, so helpful. I hope that they make the first offer, good to know that this is generally the case, that will definitely ease my anxiety over starting with a number!
@futuremrsk18: That is a great idea, thanks!
@anneh1990: I feel like I’ve read about that, too. So depressing!
@highschoolhoneys: great point, I’m writing down all these questions to remember to ask. 🙂 and Sara got her credentials after she accepted the job.
@crayfish: I agree!! Totally taking advantage of their workers…makes me wonder what they pay their nurses!
Post # 10
I go to askamanager.com for all my job related questions! The blogger has a lot of good advice on how to approach the whole salary negotiation thing.
I don’t have any personal stories of my own though. I work in schools so I’ve always either had a set stipend or I just follow a salary schedule. But hey, at least I get a few weeks off in summer 🙂
Post # 11
@coffeeaddict: Thank you! I’ll check it out 🙂 lucky you having summers off!!! Jealous!!
Post # 12
@PinkElephants21: Oh, no need to be jealous. It’s more like I only get paid to work 9-10 months out of the year, but then still have to spend my weekends and vacations working. :'( Hooray for the public education sector! It’s ok, it’s ok, I love working with the kids… *quietly chants to self*
Post # 13
I’ve always been asked and I’ve always done research first so i can say “based on industry standards and my experience, I’d expect something in x range”. I’ve always got the amount I asked for….if you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it. There’s no harm in asking. The worst that can happen is they can’t afford you, and if that’s the case they’ll tell you.
Post # 14
@PinkElephants21: please please make sure to negotiate or at least attempt to! Men graduating with a degree on average make 4% more than women SIMPLY because they negotiate their starting salary. I’m in a conflict and negotiation class right now and the lack of negotiation that women do is astounding…a research book I’m reading said it can be blamed for most of the difference in starting salaries.
let us know how it goes!
Post # 15
First, good luck with your interview!!! In my experience, many times they will ask you what salary you are looking for, and it’s always an awkward dance. But, do your absolute best to NOT name a number — the person who throws out the first number ALWAYS loses. I always say something like, “I really have to see the whole compensation package, because salary isn’t the full picture — can you tell me the salary range for this position, and the standard benefits package?” Ideally, they’ll be caught a little off guard because you’ve turned the question around to them, but often they’ll still press you. The amount you ask for should be a number that you are *slightly* embarassed to ask for (because you think it’s a little high). In your case, I agree with a PP that you should say you are looking to be in the 50s, based on your research on industry standards for this position, taking into consideration your experience and credentials. Then shut up. So many times, when there is an awkward pause, women rush to fill the silence and say, “but if you aren’t able to offer that, I would consider lower”.
The other ballsy piece of advice I can give, that will leave a (good) lasting impression — at the end of the interview, when they ask if you have any other questions, say, “Can I have the job?”. Again, they are caught off guard! Even though they aren’t (likely) going to say yes, it’s a strong move. I did it at my last job, and my boss told me over a year after I had been at the job, that she thought it was awesome when I did that. And obviously, I got the job:
GOOD LUCK!!! Let us know how it goes 🙂
Post # 16
@soontobemrsm11: Sounds like an interesting class! I plan to negotiate as much as I can if I get the offer…I don’t want anyone ripping me off lol
@kmb727: I was trying to figure out a way to turn the question around in case they were to ask me first, thanks for the idea!! And LOLOL omg I don’t think I’d be able to say “Can I have the job”…you have balls! Haha…I feel like I’d sound cocky or something! 🙂