In my opinion, if you are presented with an inadequate job offer, don’t take it.
When I refer to an offer as inadequate, I do not mean that the offer is less than you want to make. I mean that the offer is less than you reasonably need to live on.
This actually happened to me. When I left school I took an inside sales job at a Fortune 500 company which was opening and office where I lived. I worked there for 6 weeks before I realized that I hated the job (not the company) so much that I had to leave. So I started looking for other jobs.
I quickly landed an interview with a small internet consulting firm. The interviews went very well and I was quickly presented with an offer. However, the offer was for 15% less than I was currently making, before I even factored in my current commissions. At the time, I was barely scraping by.
So I called the HR manager and explained the situation and what I thought was reasonable in terms of compensation (about the same as I was currently making with commissions). I was told that he would look into it and I never heard from him again.
Looking back on it, even though I hated my current job, it would have been far worse to get into a different job and not be able to live. If you end up in this position, explain the situation to the offering company. The worst that they can say is no. If nothing comes of it, hold out for a different job.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to make your case on the comment boards.
While everyone loves a great story about the person who successfully negotiated for a higher starting salary/bigger bonus/more vacation, the truth is that you likely don’t have many bargaining chips at this stage in your career.
Given the number of new graduates who are looking for work, the competition between equally qualified candidates is extremely high. Why, if you don’t have anything that sets you apart from other candidates, would a company pay more for you than the next person?
The reality is, they won’t. This means that you are more likely to lose the offer altogether than you are to gain anything from trying to negotiate. Are you willing to take that risk? In most situations, you won’t have any leverage in negotiations until after you have been in the work force for a few years.
The only time that I might recommend negotiating is if you are at the top of your class and you are being sought after by multiple companies. If this is you, you may have some success in your negotiations. However, if you are anything like me (and most of the other new graduates out there), you likely don’t fall into this category.
That being said, I am not advocating taking a job if they are paying you less than you require to live on. All I am saying is don’t try to make a good offer great and end up losing it altogether.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to make your case on the comment boards!
I often find myself reading all sorts of different sites and blogs from around the Internet. One I enjoy and read quite often, Free Money Finance, has an interesting post up. It talks about the types of questions that you should ask interviewers when they give you the opportunity.
However, one thing caught my eye. When talking about additional types of questions he would ask, he said:
“Is there anything about me that makes you think I’m not the best person for this position?” If they list anything, I say something like, “I understand how you can think that. I didn’t have the chance to share (successful experience from previous job) with you.” Then I proceed to answer their concerns citing past job successes in the areas they think I’m lacking.
I would have to disagree. I’m of the mind that, even though you should be able to be able to face and address your weaknesses, providing an excuse to the interviewer to think about them is not something you want to do. Keep the interview positive, and use this opportunity to ask probing questions about the company, not focus on your weaknesses.
When I was nearing graduation, it was very popular among my classmates to have a “Wall of Shame” in our student houses or apartments. Each wall consisted of all of the rejection letters received by each of the housemates.
While it was initially a great way to build a common bond between struggling job hunters, too many times I have seen these become a source of pain and discouragement.
Not only is it demoralizing to have to look at your recent defeats (and those of your housemates), it can be especially traumatizing when the first of you does land a job. It will crank up the pressure that much more and have a negative impact on your job search.
Don’t put up a wall of shame. It will only hurt you in the long run.
So who are you? I don’t just mean your name, I mean who you really are. What can you bring to the table that no one else has. What is it that you can offer as an employee that will make the company stronger. These are the things that the employer really needs to understand before they will take you on as an employee.
When I started University, I had the mistaken impression that the degree I would earn in the end would be the “golden ticket” that would allow me to walk into any job I wanted. What I failed to understand at the time was that regardless of your level of education, you need to be able to demonstrate how you are the “total package”, so to speak.
Your skills, (education, training, etc), experience, personality, and appearance all play a role in landing the job you want. You have to have a solid idea where you stand in each area in order to show your true value to an organization. Without this understanding, you will never be able to land a job over someone who knows this information cold.
For example, modern companies are becoming increasingly interested in the “soft skills” such as communication and interpersonal skills. You may have an MBA from Harvard, but if you can’t effectively communicate, you will not land the job.
Take some time to reflect on each of these key areas before you start your job search in earnest. If you have a clear idea of who you are and what you have to offer across each of these areas, it will shine through in every aspect of the job hunting process.