My First REAL Job

This is about the experiences I've had as a college student making my way into the full-time working world.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Know What Your Worth

It was a month ago that I was interviewed for the job at the gallery, and since then I've figured out what little mistakes I made. One mistake was that I wasn't prepared to negotiate my pay or benefits. I went to the interview with low expectations, thinking I would only be starting with a part-time position. I should have been prepared for anything because by the end of the interview I was offered a full-time position and asked what I thought I should be paid.

If I had been smart I would have said I didn't have any figures at that time since I was expecting a part-time position and then asked if I could meet with him again to talk about pay. Instead, in my excited haze, I told Tony I just wanted to keep making what I was at my other job. Now, I was being paid well for working part-time at a home-improvement store but I wasn't using the skills I learned after four years of college either.

Tony smiled and told me I'd be making more than I currently was and asked me to come in again after he typed up my contract. This was a big mistake because I let him have total control of what I was being offered. I'm sure what he offered me was a reasonable entry-level amount, but I might have been able to persuade him into paying me more. My benefits seemed normal: five days paid vacation, paid holidays, health insurance.

Now I will have to wait until I've been at the gallery long enough to ask for a raise. It will take a lot more hard work and showing Tony what I am capable of to increase my salary. After I received my contract, I took the time to research what the average person in my position is paid. I also researched how much I could be making after I've been at the gallery for five or ten years. I researched what related jobs pay, and also how my salary would fluctuate if I was working in different parts of the country.

With the amount of education and experience I am bringing to the gallery I might have been able to start out making slightly more, but I guess I'll never know since I wasn't prepared at my interview.


At 1:44 PM, Blogger taekwondomom said...

Your post is a good caveat for other first-time job people. I'm sure I wouldn't have known how to negotiate for all those things!

I think you're already prepared to negotiate with the Gazette, though. Let us all know how that 2nd job offer goes!


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