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The process of landing the first job is the rite of passage for many young people living in the modern world.

As such, it generates a large number of emotions, worries, and expectations, since it will affect both your present life and your future career. This is why it’s important to find a job that suits your education and personality.

Along that path, one of the crucial things is to learn how to negotiate a fair salary for your first job. The following steps will teach you what features to take care of and how to approach the negotiation process.

1. Research Average Salaries in Your Field

Before you even get your first invitation for a job interview, do some research on the salaries in your field. A few search queries on Google will help you figure out how much your colleagues are paid for their work.

However, you shouldn’t stop here, because you need to obtain as much information as possible. It will enable you to make a more detailed plan for the salary negotiations at your interviews.

In line with that, you can find some invaluable data about wage estimates on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website. If you don’t live and work in the USA, find your national or local counterpart of this US-based administration.

Apart from that, you can access a large amount of useful data about thousands of companies on the Glassdoor website. Additionally, this source can be used to find out more about work conditions in companies, as well.

Also, join various social media groups related to the niche of your interest and read about other people’s experiences.

2. Calculate Your Monthly Budget

There’s no doubt that your future employer will have the final word on the payment you’re going to receive. Nevertheless, you have some room in the negotiations that you can use to “raise the stakes”.

What you should do before your first interview is jotted down your monthly expenses. This calculation needs to contain the rent, the bills, the food budget, your transportation expenses, and the clothes. Of course, you should base your calculations on mid-range prices or use an expense comparison website, such as Numbeo.

Further, add some personal living expenses, such as culture-related expenditure, travels, and your hobbies to your monthly budget. Now you’ve included all the expenses you’ll have to lead a fulfilled life, so try to negotiate a salary that’s as close to that figure as possible.

3. Inquire About the Work Conditions

The salary and the work conditions at your new position are two closely related features. Because of that, try to inquire about the business management styles of your potential employers.

If their business is based on part-time workers or outsourced workforce, you might find it difficult to negotiate the salary you’re aiming at. Still, even such a work environment can bring some benefits.

First and foremost, you can ask for flexible work hours if you’re a part-time worker. Moreover, working as an outsourcer could give you a chance to work from home. In that case, business beginners need to get to know themselves and acquire some productive routines for home workers.

If your potential employer agrees to such a schedule, you can negotiate a fair salary for that reduced amount of work engagement, as well. It will leave enough time for you to find a side job or launch your business projects.

Additionally, take care of others, non-salary features during this process. For instance, the former and current employees of the business in question may express dissatisfaction with bad leadership in social media discussions. If so, think twice before you attend that job interview in the first place and save your time for other opportunities.

4. Appreciate Your Degree and Knowledge

Lack of experience is the major problem when you’re applying for your first job. Naturally, some employers will try to use that argument as a reason to offer a salary that’s lower than it should be.

If you come across such an employer, but you still think the job in question would be a suitable choice for you, don’t hesitate to show assertiveness during the salary negotiations. Such an attitude will convince your potential employer that you’re a fighter, which could be beneficial for their company.

Apart from your university diploma, your job application should include all the certificates you’ve acquired during your education. From IT courses to language certificates and business diplomas, prepare everything relevant for that position.

You could also get sympathy from the employer if you express willingness to attend some additional training sessions to extend your college knowledge, as well.  This openness to new experiences will increase your chances to score a higher salary.

Discussing a contract

Photo Credit – Flickr.com

5.  Keep Several Offers on the Table

The position in which you’re looking for your first job brings both some benefits and some drawbacks.

The main drawback is that you don’t have an income, but you have regular expenses you have to cope with.

The biggest advantage of that situation is that you have nothing to lose. Therefore, make an effort to negotiate the salary you deserve, due to your education and the payments in your niche.

You’ll manage to successfully pursue this strategy if you weigh several job offers. By entering job negotiations with several employers at the same time, you’ll get a chance to play your cards cleverly and decisively.

However, don’t mention those other offers when going to job interviews until you get several final payment offers.

That’s the key moment at which you can mention what others have offered you. For instance, if the employer whose work conditions and potentials you liked best has come up with a lower salary, inform them about the higher offer. This might bring you the desired job and the salary you’ve been dreaming of.

Still, be careful and polite in every step you make during these negotiations. You don’t want to burn the bridges before you’ve even built them.


Your first job will be a pivotal point in your life that might influence your entire career. Because of that, it’s important to be patient during the job search.

In line with that, apply for several positions and always insist on your degree, as well as on your comprehensive knowledge.

However, don’t turn the entire negotiation process into a me-ramble, but inform your potential employers how you can contribute to their business.

If you follow all these strategies, you’re highly likely to find a promising first job with a fair salary.

In this article, we will provide you some steps which will teach you what features to take care of and how to approach the negotiation process.

Written By
Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus- a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.

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