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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

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Money Matters: Full Time Job Offers



I have an offer for a full-time job, but the salary is less than I was expecting. I really like the position, but feel I deserve more. Is there anything I can do to get a better offer? Ryan D. ’21.

First, congratulations on getting the offer! In this economy, that is quite an accomplishment. I am sorry you are disappointed in the starting salary. A good first place to start is to find out the “normal” range of starting salaries for the position. A reasonable starting salary can be found by searching online, talking to your advisor, looking at salary levels for entry-level job postings and talking with the Career Development Center. Use that information to see if your expectations are realistic. 

If you would accept the job without an adjusted salary, then I suggest you do a great job and see where you are salary-wise in a year. It can be hard to move past wanting a specific number, but it’s important to understand that the job is more important than gaining a few thousand dollars in salary.

If the salary is low, or you have more than one offer, then you can negotiate, but you have to be careful. When students come to me with this question, I ask them to tell me what they specifically want. If you have multiple offers, which one would you take if they offered you the same amount of money? It’s critical that you stay focused on obtaining what you want and not just trying to get more.

I recommend an indirect approach since you don’t want to lose the job offer. Something like, “I love the position and am close to making a decision. I was wondering if there was any wiggle room with the starting salary.” The goal of reaching out is to show that you likely will accept if they make an adjustment. If the response is no, and if you want the job, accept it and move on. 

If they ask you what salary you are looking for, they may be open to making an adjustment. You can then tell them what you think is fair and say you will accept if they will make that change. The last part is critical as you can burn bridges if they give you what you ask for and then you tell them no. 

Also, the amount you ask for should be reasonable relative to normal starting salaries and should be relatively close to what they offered. If you ask for too large an increase, they might say it’s too much and often won’t move at all. At that point, it is awkward to suggest a smaller increase and accepting the original offer may make you look bad. That is why for entry-level jobs, I generally recommend to take the position and not negotiate.

Anna Lubomirski ’21

From my own experience in deciding which offer to accept, I didn’t prioritize the pay that each company offered me. I was looking at the companies themselves and trying to figure out where I would fit in the best. 

The most important thing is being happy in your job. Money alone will not achieve this. As a result, I would recommend working in the job for a while and if you still feel you deserve more, you will be well established and be able to show your value to the company in a salary negotiation.

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