Why New Grads Should Negotiate Their Salaries

by Yuchen Wu, Student Blogger

When it comes to doing better with our money, most people think of saving more money. However, how much you earn can be more important. According to Ramit Sethi, New York bestselling author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich, people should try to negotiate their salaries, and those who negotiate tend to negotiate over and over again.


Now, if you think salary negotiation only works for people who are in their 30s or 40s, you are wrong. In fact, “a single $5,000 raise in your 20s, if you properly invest it, can be worth more than a million over the course of your career,” said Sethi. He basically pointed out that “if you are a top performer, then the company wants to pay to recruit you. Here’s the logic. “For new grads, they’ve already spent $6,000 recruiting you, so they don’t want to lose you for a few thousand dollars,” said Sethi. Notice that, top performers negotiate and average performers don’t. In other words, if you are a top performer, then the company expects you to negotiate.

So when does salary negotiation begin? It really starts for you with the initial interview, because it’s what you tell the firm about yourself and what you can do for them, which will increase your value when the time to offer you a job comes. Again, salary negotiation is not merely saying, “I want more money.” It’s discussing your opportunity to raise your salary based upon your ability and value.

According to NetTemps, a job search website, you should ask yourself the following questions to know if there is even a chance to get more salary:

  • What is the salary range of the job that the employer and/or the industry have established?
  • What is the lowest salary that I will consider?
  • What makes me worth a higher salary?

Knowing the answers of these questions may help you estimate whether you have any opportunities to increase your salary and to know where you can improve yourself to get a better salary in the future.

To get more information, you can try to go to National Association of Colleges and Employers, CU’s Career Services, people who work in that industry or at that company, job hunting websites on the internet, or join us at the “Salary Negotiations: What Are You Worth?” workshop on Monday, April 21 at 5:00pm in UMC 425, presented by Career Services.


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