Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Thing #321--Negotiation

A while back I wrote about my decision to close my tutoring center. Not knowing exactly when I would be completely finished with it, I've not been looking too hard for a new job. However, I got a lead on one last weekend; it would be working with an acquaintance in her office.

The process has been very informal. There was no interview; I got first crack at this opening, and all of the communication has been by e-mail. In the latest message, I was asked what my salary requirements were. I know that's a commonly-asked question, but one I've never had to think about before. Today I discussed my salary requirements for a job.

My job history:
  • In high school and college I worked at minimum-wage jobs in retail or service positions.
  • After graduation I taught for several years, and got paid according to the salary schedule.
  • I took a verrry long break from paid employment after my children were born. When I eased back into the work force, it was at our local parochial school doing playground duty and substitute teaching. There were set amounts for each of these
  • Next I worked part time in an office. Each of the people working there were part-time, and we all received the same hourly wage.
  • I started working with a friend at the tutoring center (for a set monthly amount) that I later took over (my compensation depended on how many students were enrolled)
I sent an e-mail asking what the salary range for the job was, then checked a few Web sites to find out what the averages for the type of job I'd be doing. When I got a response back with the minimum and maximum amount they were willing to pay, I was able to let them know the reasons I was worth an amount closer to the higher level, but that I was willing to be flexible.


  1. Negotiation is a fine art. I work with my seniors on this quite a bit as they seem to be willing to accept what anyone says to them. It definitely takes practice. I'm always miffed when someone will NOT negotiate.

  2. I hate, hate, hate discussing salary stuff for jobs. I get so awkward...the job people are awkward..it's gross and I don't think ever gets easier. I hate jobs that want you to put your salary expectations in the cover letter with your resume.

    Also, Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. I hate this as well. I found it hard last year when I was job hunting, because I was coming from a job where I was being paid at high-tech 2001 rates and I knew I'd be taking a salary cut. That was fine - but it's the line between pricing yourself out of the job and undervaluing your skills.