Setting Your Standard

So you’ve gotten through the tough stuff… you’ve created a winning resume, sent it in, had multiple rounds of interviews, and here you are, finally receiving that job offer you’ve been waiting for. As tempting as it may be to immediately accept, take some time to get your ducks in a row and do a little research. You may find you have some bargaining material.

First, get the offer in writing. This is important mainly so that you can review the details and come back to them if you need to. Usually a hiring manager will tell you about the most important parts of the offer like salary and an overview of the benefits, but having the offer in writing will ensure that you’re not missing anything.

Then, do some research. Find out what type of salary you’re going to need to be able to live comfortably. There are several ways to come up with what the cost of living will be in your potential location of work. Some resources include PayScale.com , BestPlaces.net, or Salary.com.

Additionally, you need to get a general idea of what your personal worth is based on your education, experience and location. You can do so at websites like Salary.com, SalaryExpert.com, or SalaryList.com.

From here you can evaluate whether or not the salary and benefits you have been offered meet your standards. If they do, great! Sounds like you’ve got a job offer to accept. If not, consider salary negotiation. For tips and several resources to help with preparing to negotiate, see QuintessentialCareers.com.

By: Kelly Gooch
contact: goochke@jmu.edu

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