Negotiating First Salary

The salaries do not reflect real numbers. 

So, I recently negotiated my first salary. When I first got the offer, I could not believe my eyes. I actually repeated the number in my head and was just amazed. I talked to two of my advisors and they said that the salary was beyond expectations especially in this job market. Not to mention that the company currently has a hiring freeze, and I was hired. The thing is, I am pretty sure I could have held out for another 5K. My Vice President in an informal discussion said he could push the budget to offer me a higher salary. It would have meant another 5K. Sigh. So why didn’t I?

  • The offer is above average for my experience and age.
  • I got really excited, and considering other offers, this offer blew everything out of the water.
  • I was grateful for such a high salary.
  • It’s really hard to know my actual worth. I have a bachelor’s and a master’s and some work experience. But I have never been paid a salary. There is also not much information out there on salaries. It’s all based on the average person.

I sat down with coffee with one of my previous employers and he said I could have easily gotten 5K more. I am not sure how I feel about this. Did my negotiation skills fail me? Although, I am earning more than my age peers. However, I have also worked harder. Am I being too greedy? It’s like buying an item, and later finding out I could have gotten it for sale.

I know I have a lot of work to do this year. I have to prove myself that I am worth the money, deserve a high bonus, and a high raise. Next time I am considering a salary negotiation, I need to:

  • Know my worth
  • Research more
  • Actually negotiate and say a counteroffer

Learn from my lesson. Do not take the first salary you are offered, even if it sounds great. I have been told this many times. Too many times to count. DOesn’t hurt to ask right?

I, also, need to get away from the age mentality. The people I am working with obviously don’t think I am 22 years old, so I need to stop thinking I am 22! 🙂 Hard to do.

I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity! I will prove myself in the coming year!

How did your first salary negotiation go?


10 responses to “Negotiating First Salary

  1. I think if you’re happy with it, I wouldn’t sweat over the unknown of how much you could’ve negotiated. It looks like you got a great offer!

  2. I think it’s always hard negotiating your first salary because you don’t really have anything to compare it to. I’ve definitely learned a lot from my first experience, so I’d definitely suggest just working hard, proving your worth, then negotiating for a raise when you have some evidence of why you deserve higher pay.

  3. I felt the same way with my current job. I negotatied well with my last job, but this one, i was just so happy to get a job that i didn’t negotiate at all!! I hit myself over the head for a while, but live and learn. I recently got a promotion though and so I am very happy here.
    Work your butt off and ask for a raise in year ; )

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