Every year as graduation time rolls around, so do the emails and tweets from young graduates wanting advice to make it in the real world. This year, I turned to the ladies behind Ask Ajna*, a career guide in your pocket which helps you find your voice and negotiate for what you really want for their advice. Here are their five best tips for women starting their careers.
1. Don’t accept the first offer you get — negotiate your pay package.
Some women are afraid to negotiate pay and many more simply don’t think to ask for more. Consider this: by simply accepting an offer as presented, and not negotiating for a better compensation package, you stand to lose up to $1 million or more over the course of your career.
You can help ward off the anxiety of negotiating pay, by arming yourself with information. Research the current market value for the job you want. Third-party compensation information will give you a good indication of a job’s value. Some great sources include payscale.com, salary.com and glassdoor.com. Use this information as a baseline. Then assess your skills versus the requirements to determine your value in the job.
Very few professional-level jobs are compensated via salary alone. So, think in terms of a total compensation package. If you can’t get the salary you want, ask for a signing bonus, more vacation or some other work benefit. Many women are surprised at how easy it is to get more by simply asking.
Read the rest at Forbes.