World Of

Brobston Group Blog

Negotiating Fair Offers as a Young Professional

May 4, 2021
4

About me. As a young professional I am writing to share my perspective with other professionals in a similar stage in the career. I am a soon-to-be advertising and marketing communications graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Working with a boutique recruiting agency has given me a behind the scenes look at the job search process as well as what candidates and clients look for.

Whether you’re proceeding through the interview process or have a secure job, talking about compensation will always be part of your working life. For some, the ability to talk about salary comes naturally, but for others it is a source of stress and anxiety. It can be tough trying to quantify your value, especially entering into a new field. So how exactly do you place a dollar amount on your skill set, experience, and work ethic?

First things first: understand that discomfort surrounding compensation discussion is common. You are not alone. Many other high-achieving professionals have experienced this feeling at some point in their career. Compensation assigns value to you, making it highly personal.

Secondly, if you are a young professional just getting started — seek out help and more information about compensation. You need to benchmark your experience against a) other young professionals across the industry and b) other theoretical applicants to the role. This means talking with friends, colleagues, mentors, former supervisors, (and maybe recruiters), to get some feedback about what they think. Without this info it may be difficult to know where to aim. You should enter an interview process with a target and a minimum in mind. Your target should be a reasonable number based on your benchmarking discussions.

So now we’re prepared and ready to go. At the end of your first interview for a new role the interviewer will ask: “What are your compensation expectations?”

You basically have 2 options for how to response — decide based on how confident you are in your benchmarking.

  1. If you’re not sure: “My expectations are to be paid a fair salary for the role that’s in line with the industry. Being a young professional, you probably have a better idea of what that is than me. What’s your budget for the role?”
    • If you can work with their budget proceed with the interview. Their answer will rarely be their max. Don’t start negotiating until final stages of an interview process – when you know they like you and want you. 
  2. If you have collected enough feedback to understand a fair salary, share your target salary with them openly. It should be honest and reasonable. A few things to remember:
    • Requesting a number that’s far higher than their budget will often result in an immediate rejection, so be thoughtful about this number.
    • Don’t use a range. When you say a range the employer only listens to the bottom number, while you really mean the top number. Pick in the middle.

 

As recruiters, we work with salary and compensation discussions daily, and it’s important to share a little about the employer perspective here. A common misconception is that a potential or current employer is trying to cheat or undervalue you if they offer you lower than your perceived value. What is important to remember is that their budget based on what makes the most sense for the company. Companies often stick to a compensation structure that has worked for them in the past and will be reluctant to make significant exceptions, especially for junior roles. Some employers are willing to do this if the company allows it, or if they feel a person is the perfect fit for a job. But sometimes an employer might see you as a great fit for a position, but they are working within a strict budget that cannot be broken. In these situations, make your case for compensation while allowing for flexibility and try to meet in the middle.

In summary, to get the best outcome:

  • Get advice feedback from your personal network
  • Present your reasonable expectations, clearly
  • Allow for flexibility when needed
  • Remember that getting your career started is just that, the start
About the contributor
0
Sydney Scarola

Extensive experience in creative and specialized content writing, editorial production and social media, previously serving a Fashion Editor at Fashion Denver. Sydney is also a freelance stylist who graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2021.

Copied

More from 'World-of' Candidates

September 14, 2021
Whats New at Brobston Group for Candidates?
Happy Fall! It’s been quite a year and we all deserve to celebrate! With this in mind, I’m thrilled to announce more updates to our candidate experience. Now in our ... Read More >>
June 23, 2021
7 Interview Red Flags to Watch Out For
As an emerging professional, it isn’t always easy to recognize interview red flags because many of us don’t yet have much experience talking to companies and observing normal professional behavior. ... Read More >>
Play Video
June 21, 2021
Negotiation Skills: Trust, Empathy and “No”
Former FBI Hostage Negotiator Chris Voss talks about the importance of negotiation skills. In this keynote speech, Voss notes that trust and empathy are a large part of negotiation.
Play Video
June 21, 2021
Sales Techniques on Selling and Influence
Business Keynote Speaker Victor Antonio defines the best techniques for selling and influence. “Nudge, don’t push” is the overarching theme that Antonio outlines in this informative speech.
Play Video
June 21, 2021
Unleash Your Super Brain To Learn Faster
Jim Kwik, a famous brain training coach, shares how to tap into your mind and unleash your highest level of brain power. By discussing why it’s important to “learn how ... Read More >>
Play Video
June 21, 2021
Speak Like a Leader
Speech is a very powerful tool that top speechwriter, Simon Lancaster, breaks down in this Tedx Talk. He shares how rhetorical devices like breath, metaphors, exaggeration, rhymes, and balance can ... Read More >>
Email*
Password*

We are really happy to have you as a part of our employer community.

Check out a short tour of our employer features!

Menu Bar

Post a job or find your account features from the menu bar

Dashboard

Find recent job posts, recent applications, and all of our website features

Profile

Update your personal and professional details, your job posting defaults, and other preferences

My Jobs

Visit My Jobs to view your live, draft, and closed jobs, and associated applications

Saved Applications

View applications you saved for later (great for future roles)

Posting Options

Compare job posting features and pricing

Full-Service Recruiting

Learn about our core recruiting service that we launched in 2017

'World Of' Employers Blog

Our blog features exclusive insights, commentary, and news

About Brobston Group

Learn more about our team, brand partnerships, and company here

Help Page

Find answers to frequently asked questions from employers

Chat with Us

Click the chat button in the bottom right to chat with our team. Reach out with questions about using the site, posting jobs, or general candidate search advice anytime – we’d love to hear from you and are here to help!

Thanks for joining us and…

Happy hiring!

Welcome!

Menu Bar

Find your account features from the menu icon in the top right corner

Dashboard

Visit your Dashboard for a quick snapshot of all website features

Profile

Visit your profile to update your personal details, your job search criteria, resume, bio, and other preferences

My Applications

Visit My Applications to view your submitted applications and see application statuses

Saved Jobs

When you save a job while searching, you can return to view them here

Referrals

Introduce us to your industry friends and earn commissions when we place them in certain roles!

'World Of' Candidates Blog

Our blog features exclusive articles from our team and user community, videos, and industry news

About Brobston Group

Learn more about our team, brand partnerships, and company here

Help Page

Find answers to frequently asked questions from candidates

Chat with Us

Click the chat button in the bottom right to chat with our team. Reach out with questions about using the site or job search advice anytime – we’d love to hear from you and are here to help!

Thanks for joining us and…

Happy searching!

Email*
Password*
Email*
Password*