“Getting What You’re Worth and a Little More”

As the quarter winds down and my college career quickly makes it way to the finish line, I have enjoyed the opportunity of attending as many campus workshops and networking events as possible. I recently attended the third Professional Readiness Workshop of the quarter titled, “Getting What You’re Worth and a Little More.”

The timeliness of this workshop was impeccable! Last week, I had my first couple phone interviews in the post graduation job search process, and the topic of salary was already addressed by the recruiting managers whom I spoke with. Luckily, I did one thing right in preparation for those interviews: research. Dr. Kanov suggested to research a position thoroughly in terms of what it is actually worth. It is important to know how much is a standard salary, or range for a position, and then understanding that information, to be able to justify why you deserve a specific amount.

Let’s say for instance that you are interviewing for a marketing assistant position in Seattle, WA. According to Glassdoor.com, the average salary for a marketing assistant in the Seattle area is $35,000. Looking at the requirements and desired qualifications of the job position, you can evaluate your experience and determine how qualified you are to do the job. Hopefully you are interested in a certain position because you meet the basic qualifications and have some competitive experience to leverage over other candidates. Discovering what makes you stand out from other candidates is an exploration that you should already be undertaking while preparing for interviews. When it’s time to negotiate, continue to reiterate the reasons why you are the best, using that as leverage to justify your requested salary and benefits package.
Another major factor to having a successful negotiation is actually knowing what you want aside from salary. Dr. Kanov lists the following as being other benefits that you should consider:
-401K, Health benefits, relocation costs, signing bonus, cell phone plan, new computer, paid leave, etc….

Make sure to prioritize, noting which items you absolutely have to have, which you are flexible on, and what you absolutely do not want. Knowing where you stand on all the “issues,” will properly arm you with the confidence you will need to have a more comfortable conversation with your new employer.
Last but not least, Dr. Kanov repeated several times throughout his presentation to “simply ask” for benefits that you want. The worst that can happen is that your employer will say no. However, sometimes the answer is “yes” simply because you asked! This ties back into being grounded in what you need, want and could do without.
This workshop was really helpful and it reminded me once again how lucky I am to attend WWU. There are so many opportunities to learn and grow at this university, and I’m glad I have been able to actually make use of them. If you are a student reading this, explore your campus events and attend them! Always make contact with the speaker (if you don’t have to jet to class!) and exchange information with them. Speakers who attend campus are generally very interested in mentoring students and advising them with their careers and lives.
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