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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Money Matters: Negotiating salary

Money+Matters%3A+Negotiating+salary

Welcome back to Money Matters. In this week’s column we answer a question about negotiating salary. If you have a question that you would like answered, please send them to [email protected].

I have a full-time job offer but the salary is lower than I had hoped to receive. How do I negotiate for a better salary? —Jane D. ’20, management major

Erkis: I get this question often from seniors who are looking for full-time jobs and from students seeking summer internships. The first thing is to understand if you have “leverage” in the situation. Leverage means tools you have to get what you want. For example, if you have multiple offers, you have leverage because you can decline this offer and take the other one (if the other one is a position you would be happy to accept). Leverage could also be having worked there previously (say during the summer) or having a unique skill that the company needs which is less likely for a college student.

Negotiating with a company about a job offer has risk. If the company has other candidates, they could rescind your offer and offer the position to someone else. This could happen if they believe you are being unreasonable. We always want to be reasonable and communicate positively with the company. The goal in this type of negotiation is a win-win. Let the company know that you love the job and with this negotiation you will accept.

Consider if the risk of losing the offer is worth what you can gain by negotiating. Let’s say Jane’s offer is at a great company and something she is interested in doing. If the offer is in the ballpark of a reasonable, market starting salary, it may be best to just take the offer unless you have significant leverage. Getting the job you want is the most important thing. Doing a great job will give you leverage to ask for an early raise (or to find a higher paying job elsewhere).

What about if the offer is low relative to what starting salaries are for entry level positions? In that case, I would suggest you keep looking and attempt to get an extension on deciding on this offer. If the company forces you into a tight deadline, it puts you into a tough spot. Without another offer or one that looks certain, I generally advise accepting the offer. It doesn’t mean you can’t keep looking for a better position though.

Lubomirski: While I haven’t had that much work experience, I have learned through summer jobs that enjoying what you do is more important than getting paid more money. If you have an offer for a summer position that you know you will like, I would recommend taking it.

The experience is the most important thing in addition to using that experience to find a great full-time job. Even if it is full-time, what you have is just a starting salary and will change as you start to build more of that leverage that Professor Erkis talks about.

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