Today in my networking challenge I am interviewing Kimberly Palmer. Kimberly is the author of Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back and a personal finance columnist at US News & World Report. I just finished her book and really enjoyed asking her all of my questions! Kim thank you so much for sharing your advice with us! You can follow Kimberly on Twitter @alphaconsumer.
In case you are reading this at work and can’t watch the video, you can read all of the great money advice below instead!
1) I learned in your book that men are 4 times more likely to negotiate their first salary than women, and asking for more money early in one’s career can mean the difference of a half a million dollars over the course of one’s lifetime. What tips do you have for young professional women who are about to negotiate their salary at their first job?
The first thing is to know that in almost all cases that you absolutely should negotiate your salary. The biggest mistake you can make is to not negotiate your salary, especially in this environment because you are so grateful to have a job offer that you don’t even bother asking.
Just a small question like “Is there any wiggle room with that?” or “Can you go any higher?”. That alone can put thousands of dollars in your pocket. The next biggest thing is practicing. In the book, I talk about how I practice with my dad. Since so many of us feel uncomfortable with negotiating, it is great just to practice saying the words.
You can have one of your parents or your friend act out the script with you. They can act like your future employer and you act like yourself since everyone is different how they want to phrase things. Figure out what words you want to say and what makes you feel comfortable asking for a higher salary.
Another tip is to let there be silence especially when you are nervous, it can be easier to keep talking. After you ask, stop talking. This can really help shift the pressure off of you and onto them because if you just keep talking they don’t have to say anything.
It’s amazing how much the dollars add up. Once you have that first job offer, so many of your future salaries are based off that salary, whether you get small raises or if you switch jobs you often base your new salary off your current one so it really adds up over time.
[Related Post: A Practical Guide to Salary Negotiations]
2) In the book, you recommend earning an income outside of your full time job as a self protection device in our current economy. How can we figure out what it is we should do on the side?
This is my favorite topic right now because it has become increasingly important. I think all of us feel like to some degree we could lose our jobs at any time. So to have that backup, that small side income that you could ramp up if you had to just gives piece of mind.
So in terms of figuring out what that could be you really have to think about what you love doing so much that you would do even if you were exhausted. Second, think about what is marketable? You just have to figure out what the intersection is of those two things.A lot of people use websites like http://etsy.com which is a craft marketplace, you can make handmade things and sell them. Other people are more service oriented and offer coaching in whatever it is that they have expertise.You really just have to think about what you are good at and what you could sell in the marketplace
If you are doing it on top of another job, you are probably going to be tired when you are doing it. And you are going to have to figure out a way to get that energy when you are spread so thin, so it has to be something that is energizing.
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