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Thread: Compensation negotiation

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Compensation negotiation

    I will be finishing my Master's this Spring/Summer. I've already secured a part-time position with a consulting firm that will turn into a full-time position once my time is freed up.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to best negotiate my compensation package once I graduate? Also, where can I got besides planning.org for comparable salary comps for my area?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    http://members.aol.com/payraises/book.html

    Good book on salary negotiation. However, this book is targeted mostly to people in Fortune 500 companies and outside sales. I used it on my annual review last year (along with some other books) but only got a 3.5% raise (which is a COLA).

    Keep in mind even though you are an intern with experience in the same consulting firm, you don't have much to negotiate with in terms of a salary. You pretty much have to take what you can get. If you really want to make good money as a planner (and it can be done) you should stay in the private sector. However, this is going to invlove looking for a new job in a different firm ever few years. Just don't fall into the trap of jumping from one lucrative offer to the next, or firms will question your loyalty.

    Hope this helps-

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    That's disappointing. I thought I would be able to negotiate a little more money after I finished the program. Is it reasonable to expect $30k right out of graduate school in the midwest?



    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    http://members.aol.com/payraises/book.html

    Good book on salary negotiation. However, this book is targeted mostly to people in Fortune 500 companies and outside sales. I used it on my annual review last year (along with some other books) but only got a 3.5% raise (which is a COLA).

    Keep in mind even though you are an intern with experience in the same consulting firm, you don't have much to negotiate with in terms of a salary. You pretty much have to take what you can get. If you really want to make good money as a planner (and it can be done) you should stay in the private sector. However, this is going to invlove looking for a new job in a different firm ever few years. Just don't fall into the trap of jumping from one lucrative offer to the next, or firms will question your loyalty.

    Hope this helps-

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jdstl1977 View post
    That's disappointing. I thought I would be able to negotiate a little more money after I finished the program. Is it reasonable to expect $30k right out of graduate school in the midwest?
    $40k is more likely IMHO

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by jdstl1977 View post
    That's disappointing. I thought I would be able to negotiate a little more money after I finished the program. Is it reasonable to expect $30k right out of graduate school in the midwest?
    Well, I'm sure they would be more than happy to pay you $30k, but I think you should expect more along the lines of $40k.
    In the beginning there was nothing...then Chuck Norris Roundhouse kicked that nothing in the face and said "Get a job". That is the story of the universe.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    The book I mentioned recommends to use data supporting a salary increase. APA has conducted a salary survey and is available on their website. However, if the projects are lower than you anticipate, it is TMI that will work against you. Bottom line, it shows that you have done research for comparable salaries in your field.

    For a freshly minted graduate with 0 years of professional experience (internship or not) 40 is pretty reasonable for the midwest. Some of my friends make in the upper 40's lower 50's as entry level planners for working in larger booming upper middle class communities

    From my experience, I have not seen a big salary difference for entry level planners with a bachelors or a masters (when both of them have 0 years of professional experience). Several positions require a masters to apply (but they might also consider you if you have a bachelors in planning with "x" years of experience).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    From my experience, I have not seen a big salary difference for entry level planners with a bachelors or a masters (when both of them have 0 years of professional experience). Several positions require a masters to apply (but they might also consider you if you have a bachelors in planning with "x" years of experience).
    I would also add that, from what I have seen, a masters will substitute for experience. So someone with a masters and no experience does have somewhat of a leg up on someone with a bachelors and no experience. In fact, I have seen very few position postings where a bachelors degree alone will suffice (without experience). They usually expect some experience along with the bachelors degree.
    In the beginning there was nothing...then Chuck Norris Roundhouse kicked that nothing in the face and said "Get a job". That is the story of the universe.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    I agree. Just be careful though. 0 years of experience, no matter if you just earned bachelors or a masters in planning, is still a tough sell.

    You will still encounter plenty of planners with years of experience who don't even have ANY planning degrees. One time I interviewed for an entry level position and was told I would have been offered the job but a more expereinced planner without a planning degree took the position.

    Also be careful about planning positions that have ads all over the internet. I have seen ads that were advertised in the local and regional papers, careerbuilder.com, monster.com. The competition is fierce because EVERYONE and their mother is applying for these positions.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian vagaplanner's avatar
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    Dude, you're right out of school! You don't negotiate...you take what you're offered (within reason, of course) You'll be lucky to start above $30,000. Lucky for you though, most cities that are hiring planners have pretty good benefit packages.

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