5 rules to negotiate a better salary (BPT) –
Between networking, polishing your resume, applying and interviewing, finding a job is time consuming. Once the offer comes in, all your hard work is done, right? Not necessarily. Now is the time for negotiating – a process few people are comfortable with. Skipping it, however, can mean that you miss out on better benefits or a higher salary. “You should always negotiate a higher salary,” says Vanessa Jackson, director of career services at The Illinois Institute of Art — Chicago. “Hiring managers expect this, so they do not start by offering the highest salary in their range.” Rule 1: Be polite The first rule when it comes to negotiating is to always be polite. “Say ‘Thank you very much for this opportunity. I am so excited to join your company.’ Then move into the negotiation,” says Shannon Delecki, assistant director of career services at The Art Institute of Michigan. Your requests should never sound like demands. If they do, you could negotiate your way right out of a job. Remember, the negotiation is a balancing act. You want a higher salary but you’re looking to work with the person on the other end of the negotiation, so be respectful and use good manners always. Rule 2: Know your worth Make sure you’ve done your research. “Know the average salaries for the position and for the market,” says Delecki. That means what others with similar experience would make in the same city where you’ll be working. And this isn’t a time to be modest about your potential value to the company. “Tell the company why you are worth more than you are being offered. Show them how you will contribute to the company’s profits and help their bottom line,” advises Delecki. Rule 3: Ask for the right amount Ask for too little and you’ll sell yourself short, but if you ask for too much you’ll risk offending your future employer. How much should you ask for? Jackson recommends anywhere from $3,000 – $5,000 above the company’s offer. After conveying your gratitude for the job offer, confidently state: “I’m hoping to negotiate a salary closer to $XX.” Rule 4: Don’t forget other benefits There are times that companies may not be able to budge on the dollar amount, but that doesn’t mean negotiations are done. This could be an opportunity to negotiate other benefits like paid time off. “Ask the company whether they can be more flexible about vacation or PTO days,” says Delecki. In addition to vacation days, other benefits that you could try to negotiate for include flex time for working from home and subsidized day-care costs. “I’ve known people who negotiated for immediate vesting in the company’s 401(k),” observes Jackson. Rule 5: Be realistic Keep in mind, people negotiating higher-level jobs will likely have more success negotiating. If you are just out of college and accepting an entry-level job, employers typically will not negotiate much, if at all. Young professionals can always ask, but they must be realistic about what they should ask for and about what an employer is likely to approve.
Going back to school? Tips to choose the right degree (BPT) –
For many, earning a college degree opened the door to the working world; it may have even been instrumental in landing your current job. But are you applying what you learned in college to your current career field? A recent survey suggests this might not be the case. Only 35 percent of college-educated workers consider all or most of what they learned in college to be applicable to their current jobs, according to a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix. Today, many working adults are returning to college to either complete a degree that better aligns with the skills required for their current job or earn a second degree to gain additional experience for a potential career change. The National Center for Education Statistics reports an estimated 8.7 million adults over the age of 25 were planning to enroll in college in 2013, up nearly 37 percent from 2000. “There is significant progress being made in higher education to adapt to the needs of the employment market and tie curriculum to careers earlier in a student’s education,” says University of Phoenix School of Business Executive Dean Ruth Veloria. “It is critical to choose the right degree program so you know the knowledge you glean from coursework can be applied to the career you desire.” Veloria offers these tips to help you get the most out of your educational experience: * Research degree programs with a career in mind – Don’t wait until you are enrolled in college to determine your career path. Research specific positions, develop learning plans with an academic advisor and take career and skills assessments. Phoenix Career Guidance System is designed to help any student – from those just starting to those looking to advance their careers – research jobs related to different degree programs and discover which fields best fit their interests and personalities. * Go straight to the source – If you know someone currently working in the career field in which you are interested, schedule an informational interview to learn more about the skills and experience required for that line of work. Don’t know anyone? Veloria recommends joining industry associations and attending networking events as a way to make new contacts and learn more about a new career field or job. * Communicate with your boss – Your return to school will most likely benefit your company, so share your education plans with your boss, including how your classroom learning can benefit colleagues and special projects in the workplace. If your manager feels invested in your goals, it could be a source of support and motivation for you. Additionally, contact your human resources department to see if the company offers education reimbursement benefits to help pay for school. * Consider certificate programs that lead to a degree – Many working adults balance school with workplace and family priorities, so it can take additional time to earn a college degree. University of Phoenix offers a certificate option that allows you to move core courses toward the front of your degree program. This program allows you to earn certificates along the way to degree completion to help you gain the knowledge needed to elevate your career. “Researching and planning the education path you need to achieve your career goals is very important,” says Veloria. “You want to know that the skills you learn in college are the skills you need to advance your career to the next level.”