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Old 04-24-2007, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
414 posts, read 1,966,200 times
Reputation: 275

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I go to school in the Chicago area and am going to be asking for 48,000 in business/accounting field to some large consulting firms, corporations.

Will have my car and apartments here are about 800/month (may find a share), gas is 3 bucks a gallon, food is more so budget about 400/month for single person.

I think bare minimum I would take here is 40,000. Maybe you can survive on 40 grand in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I would sure prefer to live in place like that with outdoors and lower cost of life. Stuff is a catch 22.

Anyone post a reasonable budget here? Advice about asking for salaries.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:46 AM
 
696 posts, read 1,708,362 times
Reputation: 447
A few questions:

(1) Are looking to stay in Chicago or another large city?

(2) What type of company do you want: Big Four-type consulting, Fortune 500 corporate, or smaller company?

(3) I'm assuming that you're getting your bachelor's degree?

In general, if you're looking at an entry-level Big Four-type job, $48,000 is certainly reasonable and you'd probably be able to get more than $50,000 or even push toward $60,000 in Chicago depending upon your credentials (CPA for tax/audit or engineering/computer science background for IT consulting). That type of job, though, would be extremely hard to find in small markets like Bowling Green or even mid-tier cities. Corporate jobs would probably pay a little bit less than the large consulting firms (this is more company-specific, though, so it isn't necessarily true in all cases), but you concurrently don't have the pressure to bill hours (so there's a trade-off there).

Chicago is actually a great market if you want to be with a large accounting/consulting firm since they are hiring in large numbers and lots of people are based here as a result of its central location in the U.S. (travel is often a large component of consulting, so being in Chicago enables people to get to both coasts relatively quickly and cheaply with lots of flights at competitive prices). Most of the firms have other Midwest offices, but they aren't hiring at the same pace (if at all) since those types of jobs are largely dependent upon the overall economic strength of the metro area that they're located in - the stronger the region, the more likely you'll have a strong client base. Chicago's really the only Midwest metro area that could be considered on solid economic ground (maybe Minneapolis would fit, but that town still has a much smaller corporate base by comparison).

The strength of corporate jobs are more on a company-by-company basis - the location of a company really doesn't mean much from a strictly professional perspective. The only thing that matters is whether that particular company projects to do well in both the short run and long run.

For salary negotiations, never tell them your salary preferences. If they ask, just say that you will work for a reasonable or market-competitive salary for the type of position that you're seeking. Let them offer you a salary if they offer you a job and then go from there. You can always try asking for something more than what they're offering (as an entry-level college grad, though, you don't want to throw out some crazy number) and if you get multiple offers, you can certainly leverage those offers to get a higher salary at the job that you really want.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,487 posts, read 10,287,839 times
Reputation: 3758
You really shouldn't tell them what salary you want, let them make an offer first. Say they would offer you $55,000 but you come in and ask for $48,000; do you really think they're going to offer you a higher salary when you'd be happy with a lower one?

If they ask for what type of salary you'd be expecting, just give them a vague answer like "A reasonable one considering this position" or along those lines. Then when they make you an offer, negotiate from there. They make offer you $50,000 and if you're a good negotiator you may be able to get it up to $55,000 or around there.

Beware that many companies will low-ball you at first and expect to go higher.

Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:55 PM
 
2,137 posts, read 5,466,961 times
Reputation: 1850
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
You really shouldn't tell them what salary you want, let them make an offer first. Say they would offer you $55,000 but you come in and ask for $48,000; do you really think they're going to offer you a higher salary when you'd be happy with a lower one?
If they ask for what type of salary you'd be expecting, just give them a vague answer like "A reasonable one considering this position" or along those lines. Then when they make you an offer, negotiate from there. They make offer you $50,000 and if you're a good negotiator you may be able to get it up to $55,000 or around there.
Beware that many companies will low-ball you at first and expect to go higher.
Good luck!
The above is awesome advice - I want to add to it: It is well documented anywhere you look online, a prospective employee should NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER present #1 - their past pay history, and #2 their pay expectations as a number. Have I emphasized that enough? LOL - I have family members who are recruiters and who are in HR, and I researched the heck out of this topic myself - please trust me.

Regarding #1... you will be pressured into providing the pay history... what you do is leave that mandatory field blank or put a non-number answer in there. I want to be clear here... no one will throw out your application for doing this despite what any fine print says. Anyone in Corporate HR will tell you this is a sucker-field. You see the prospective employer would love to anchor any future income you earn to your past pay... even if this is your first "real job" out of college, they want you to admit you made 10.00 an hour or some pitiful amount on your application so that anything they offer you seems amazing. What is better is to not put a number, and then if asked, say something to the effect that you expect to be paid at or above market value for an equivalent position of these responsibilities. Let them guess if you've ever held a full-time/real job before which paid a particular amount - don't confirm it for them. Your historic pay outside of their company for a job with different responsibilities has no bearing on what they should offer you - that's the reality.

Lastly - regarding your own expectations with an undergraduate degree. Here's the thing, the trend is that the larger the company/more well-known it is, the lower your offered salary will be (offset by your educational quality of course --- Ivy league or 1st tier college graduates get hired at higher salaries). Also, no matter what company you work for, once hired, your annual pay increases will be small - your income at the company will always be anchored (aka held down) by the original starting salary you accepted. The only way you will see great increases in base salary in your career will be by changing companies. One final point - most companies initially offer about 10% less than they are willing to pay for a position. If you don't negotiate for at least part of that 10%, you're a sucker. Mileage varies - but these are pretty reliable rules of thumb.

Last edited by mbuszu; 04-26-2007 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
414 posts, read 1,966,200 times
Reputation: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbuszu View Post
The above is awesome advice - I want to add to it: It is well documented anywhere you look online, a prospective employee should NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER present #1 - their past pay history, and #2 their pay expectations as a number. Have I emphasized that enough? LOL - I have family members who are recruiters and who are in HR, and I researched the heck out of this topic myself - please trust me.

Regarding #1... you will be pressured into providing the pay history... what you do is leave that mandatory field blank or put a non-number answer in there. I want to be clear here... no one will throw out your application for doing this despite what any fine print says. Anyone in Corporate HR will tell you this is a sucker-field. You see the prospective employer would love to anchor any future income you earn to your past pay... even if this is your first "real job" out of college, they want you to admit you made 10.00 an hour or some pitiful amount on your application so that anything they offer you seems amazing. What is better is to not put a number, and then if asked, say something to the effect that you expect to be paid at or above market value for an equivalent position of these responsibilities. Let them guess if you've ever held a full-time/real job before which paid a particular amount - don't confirm it for them. Your historic pay outside of their company for a job with different responsibilities has no bearing on what they should offer you - that's the reality.

Lastly - regarding your own expectations with an undergraduate degree. Here's the thing, the trend is that the larger the company/more well-known it is, the lower your offered salary will be (offset by your educational quality of course --- Ivy league or 1st tier college graduates get hired at higher salaries). Also, no matter what company you work for, once hired, your annual pay increases will be small - your income at the company will always be anchored (aka held down) by the original starting salary you accepted. The only way you will see great increases in base salary in your career will be by changing companies. One final point - most companies initially offer about 10% less than they are willing to pay for a position. If you don't negotiate for at least part of that 10%, you're a sucker. Mileage varies - but these are pretty reliable rules of thumb.
Thanks guys. Lot of good advice.
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Sherwood, Oregon
44 posts, read 172,854 times
Reputation: 23
I'm a mortgage broker and often have to look at salary info. I use HTTP://www.salary.com (broken link).
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Old 04-30-2007, 03:48 PM
 
5,430 posts, read 12,025,021 times
Reputation: 3414
I have always stated that my salary requirements are reasonable and negotiable and leave it at that. Until you get a face-to-face and see your working conditions, there is no way you will be able to tell what you are going to want to do that job.
I have had companies ask for a pay stub from my last position to prove I made what I did. I was not thrilled. And yes, this is legal.
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