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I'm in the middle of my masters and have landed a good job in the IT sector. The role is "junior software developer". I only have salary negotiation left, but I have no idea what to demand in salary.

I know I will be asked what I expect to receive in salary. I obviously don't want to jeopardise the job as what I'm mostly after is the experience. So is looking up the average salary online and going with that a good starting point? Or is it ok to aim a little higher?

  • Have they extended you an offer already, and they're just looking to has out salary with you, or is the full offer being extended to you pending nagotiating a salary? – MattD Feb 6 '14 at 23:03
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It’s important to note that your first job is not going to pay well. You need experience and even if you don’t land your dream job, the experience is worth more than the money you earn.

That said, the most important thing to do is determine your value, needs, and target. There are many factors that influence your salary like; responsibility, accountability, education, experience and demand for particular jobs.

Make a list of all your monthly expenses. Determine what you need to survive. Be realistic and determine whether you’re living beyond your means. Write that number down and NEVER negotiate go below that number.

Determine what you ideally want earn, what you feel you’re worth and what you need to generate wealth. This number may not be realistic for someone entering the work place but it will give you a target to aim for.

Write that number down.

Sit and think carefully about the difference between the two numbers. It’s important that you must feel confident about your abilities and what you are asking for. You can’t negotiate if you don’t believe in your worth.

You should have 3 numbers on paper.

Start negotiations with your highest value. Ideally aim for the middle value but never go below the lowest.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t land your highest asking price. This presents a good opportunity to get your new employer to mentor you and prepare you for your future job :)

Your employer thinks you’re worth value A, You think you are worth value B. Ask your boss what you need to do to become valuable enough to be worth value B. This will give you great insight into what it takes to become someone who is valued in the market place.

Once you get a job, don’t underestimate the value of asking your boss to become your mentor. You can learn a lot and it will stroke his/her’s ego. There is a lot you can learn from the people who succeeded before you.

The answer to your question: Yes, it's ok to ask for more but be realistic. It's a negotiation after all. If you ask for more and they decline, then ask them what they value you for and what you need to do to become valuable enough to validate your asking price.

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Don't ever sell yourself for a lower value. You might end up resenting your job for expecting a lot out of you and doesn't pay you well. Negotiation is a part of almost all job interviews.

Look around on Glassdoor and check the salaries that people from your company & in the same position earn. Ask them about the other benefits that your salary includes. If you're really after the job or have nothing else to fall back on, assert that you're willing to be flexible if the profile is challenging enough.

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