Just out of Uni?  The realism behind negotiating your worth and salary expectations.

Let’s talk about a friend of a friend…lovely girl, let’s call her Sally. Sally is reasonably intelligent from an intellectual perspective but the thing she seems to lack is common sense when it comes to being realistic about what she can bring to a job for the salary she seeks.

To provide a little bit of background. Sally is in her early 20’s, has just completed a business degree with an international business major and her previous employment experience is inclusive of and limited to bar work.

So, here is Sally’s dilemma. She has recently moved out of home, has quite an expensive rent to pay and has obtained more bar work. She isn’t quite certain about the business path she wants to embark upon but has an interest in human resource management. And, (here’s the real bottle neck to her career commencement abilities), she won’t accept anything less than $55k + super for her first ever corporate role. Now, don’t get us wrong, we are completely aware that some graduate roles in large entities do offer salaries that hover around the $50k mark, however our issue in this anecdote is that Sally is not seeking a graduate position in a multi-million-dollar company….she is trying her chances via main stream employment opportunities.

Now, we’re not suggesting that she is not capable, not aspirational or not a hard worker. We are stressing however, is that she should couple realistic expectations with the salary she seeks for the experience she has.

Guess what? A while ago, Sally was offered a job as a receptionist/administration assistant in a medium sized company. They were offering $42k + super – she turned it down. This was the point in which we wanted to shake her and tell her that your first role fresh out of uni, bright-eyed with degree in hand is not about making you millions, but rather about the invaluable experience and expose to the business world you will gain. There was no reasoning with her though, she considers her gross worth to be $55k + super per annum no matter how junior her skills.

Sally’s other issue seems to be on par with her salary expectations in that she is applying for mid-level human resource consultant roles and can’t work out why she isn’t at least being interviewed.

We are all for recognising one’s self-worth but how much self-worth can you maintain when you’re not able to make use of your degree for so long because your salary expectations are so far-fetched? Or, you consider yourself to be more capable than you actually are?

‘I started from the bottom now I’m here.’ The unexpectedly philosophical words of a famous rapper that implies that we all need to begin at the beginning to achieve our desired conclusion. We believe Sally would gain extensive value if she took these words on board and applied them to her job hunt with the intention of beginning her career.

Even though Sally won’t be living the high life, with an impressive job status to follow from the get-go, at the very least she would be taking a step in the right direction!

We leave you with this-in the first instance. Negotiate your worth with yourself based upon your qualifications AND your experience for a role. Add a touch of realism, apply for jobs within your means. Then and only then is it worth attempting to negotiate your salary expectations with a prospective employer.

If you are unsure about the right career move after you have graduated from university or are seeking guidance in regard to salary expectations, contact Team Harvest t:  1300 363 128

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