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Resume Writing, Job Search, Industry News and Erin’s weekly musings on all things career.

Salary Horoscopes June 19, 2008

Filed under: Salary — erinkennedy @ 4:37 am
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Thought this was too cute to pass up. Sent to me by CDI’s, Laura DiCarlo

2008 Horoscopes – Salary Negotiation By Sign

By Shanon Lyon, Special to

We’d all like more money, but how you approach a salary negotiation depends largely on your personality and work style. These 2008 horoscopes provide a bit of insight on how to approach your next salary negotiation.

Career Horoscope for Capricorn
December 23 – January 20

As a Capricorn, you work hard for your money. And, since you’re ambitious and patient, in most cases, you’ll likely get what’s due to you without having to ask. If you fear you’re being passed over, approach your salary discussions in your usual practical, no-nonsense way.

Career Horoscope for Aquarius
January 21 – February 19

You’re original and inventive, but you prefer to fly solo. Unfortunately, your lone wolf approach could cost you a promotion or a raise. Before entering a salary discussion, make sure you’ve demonstrated your ability to work well with others. And let your boss lead the negotiation. Suppress your impulse to throw out the first number.

Career Horoscope for Pisces
February 20 – March 20

Trust your intuition this year. If you think you deserve a little more cash in your pocket, you probably do. But, as a quiet fish who’s in danger of getting stepped on, you’ll have to speak up. Know exactly what you want before you ask, then ask with confidence. If your employer doesn’t meet your needs, consider looking for better opportunities elsewhere.

Career Horoscope for Aries
March 21 – April 20

You’re cool and confident, but you can also be impulsive and impatient. The salary negotiation tactic that will serve you best is a well-made plan. Know exactly what you plan to say and make sure you schedule a meeting for the discussion. Don’t approach your boss at the end of a meeting or in the hallway. You’re a great champion for a cause, so, with a plan in place, you should have no problem making a convincing case.

Career Horoscope for Taurus
April 21 – May 21

You’re not one to stir the pot, but, you won’t get a raise unless you ask. Realize that “no” is the worst that can happen. Use your natural business sense to approach the discussion in a straightforward, business-like way. And if your request is denied (or your raise isn’t as high as you’d hoped), don’t let your occasional hot temper flare. Ask for suggestions on how to improve and get to where you want to be.

Career Horoscope for Gemini
May 22 – June 21

You love to talk, and your eloquence and charm can come in handy when it comes to money. Make the conversation less about you and your needs and more about what you have done and will continue to do for the company and your boss. And, as hard as it might be, let your boss do most of the talking. You’ll get more information this way and be better able to negotiate. Silence can be a very effective strategy.

Career Horoscope for Cancer
June 22 – July 22

Though you’re outwardly thick-skinned, on the inside, you’re a sensitive person who takes negative feedback to heart. Your cautious and non-confrontational ways could keep you from approaching your boss about a raise, but, remember that business is business. Keep your emotions out of it, and you’ll be able to handle the discussion with grace and ease.

Career Horoscope for Leo
July 23 -August 21

As the king of the zodiac, you’re self confident and self-controlled. You know what you want and how to get it, which sets you up for a successful salary discussion. It’s in your nature to shoot for your stars, but make sure you do your homework first. Find out if there’s a salary scale for your position and then assess what others in similar positions are making. Aim high, but be realistic.

Career Horoscope for Virgo
August 22 – September 23

Don’t let your worrying ways get the best of you when asking for a raise. Before approaching your boss, write down all your accomplishments and contributions (better yet, keep track of them throughout the year). You’re often reluctant to take credit for a job well done, so ask for some peer input as well. Review your list several times before discussing your salary with your boss.

Career Horoscope for Libra
September 24 – October 23

As a Libran, your sense of justice and fair play is remarkable, but your reluctance to ruffle feathers could prevent you from making more money, even if you deserve it. Be assertive and ask for what you want. If you get what you think you’re worth, great. If not, perhaps you don’t belong there anyway.

Career Horoscope for Scorpio
October 24 – November 22

Because you dislike (and can easily detect) superficial flattery, you prefer to see the fruits of your labor in the form of cold, hard cash. Your straightforwardness will fare you well, just don’t get impatient. Temper your typical bluntness with diplomacy and keep a lid on your emotions when you discuss your salary with your boss.

Career Horoscope for Sagittarius
November 23 – December 22

You’re adept at social situations, so use this to your advantage when negotiating a raise. As a natural born traveler, you’re also a perfect candidate for alternate forms of compensation. Be flexible and willing to consider other options. Perhaps an extra week of vacation would be more valuable than money?


Popular Degrees/Salary Survey October 11, 2007

Filed under: Assessments & Education,Salary — erinkennedy @ 10:15 am
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These numbers report the most popular degrees and median salaries in the US for people who report flextime as a benefit:

Master of Science (MS), Computer Science———————— $83,391
Master of Business Administration (MBA)————————$82,314
Master of Science (MS)—————————————–$75,858
Bachelor of Science (BS), Computer Science——————–$70,486
Bachelor of Science (BS)————————————-$64,979
Bachelor of Arts (BA)————————————–$58,796
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting———————$58,564
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)—————-$57,816


Answering the Question, “What are your salary requirements?”

Filed under: Salary — erinkennedy @ 10:05 am
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Let’s look at what you should do if salary comes up in the early stages of the interview:

“First, YOU SHOULD NEVER BRING THE TOPIC UP! Never, never, never bring up salary questions until you have a JOB OFFER! But, if they bring it up, you have to address it, even Though it is inappropriately early. In the early stages of the interview, wanting to know your salary requirements is simply a ‘screening tool.’ In other words, they want to know if your salary is realistic for the position – is it too low, meaning perhaps you aren’t as qualified or appropriate as you seem, or that you are higher than the salary range they had set.

Now, if you are higher, you are probably thinking that you would want to address this early on and not waste your time – no! Stop for a moment and think, have you ever bought something that cost more than you set out to spend after you heard about its value? Perhaps a car with added features or a house or even a washing machine? Three positive outcomes could come out of this interview even if you are out of their price range:

A. You could convince them that you are worth the extra investment.
B. You could create a new niche for yourself.
C. You could be put into another position other than the one for which you interviewed.

So, why burn your bridges with a straightforward answer that might ruin your chances for consideration? You must play the salary game. Here are a few ways you might offset this question being asked early in the interview:

A. ‘At this early point in the interview process, I don’t feel that either of us has gained enough information to value my skills for the job yet. Could we please address this at a later point in the interview process?’

B. ‘What’s important to me at this point is not so much the salary, but whether I am the right person for the job. I am certain if we both end up agreeing that I am the right person for the job, we’ll be able to come to a fair agreement, don’t you think?’

C. ‘I’m negotiable, what do you have allotted for the position?’

With answer ‘C,’ you are likely to experience one of two answers:

A. ‘We haven’t determined that yet. . .’
B. ‘The range for the position is $XX to $XX. . .’

With the above, don’t feel that you have to commit to a number in the range. I once dealt with a student who, in interviewing for a job, used answer ‘C.’ The employer responded with, ‘The position pays between $12 to $15 an hour.’ The applicant thought for a moment, decided that she was too experienced for $12 but not experienced enough for $15, so she said, ‘$13.50.’ She was hired at $13.50. The next applicant we sent a few months later was coached not to feel she had to pick from that range. She kept her mouth shut and was offered $15 with the same level of skill as the first applicant!

At this point, the interviewer might accept your brush-off answer, or they may decide to push for a commitment. You might next be asked, ‘You must have some idea of your financial needs?’ or ‘Certainly you have a range in mind?’or even, ‘hat’s the least you’ll take?’ Well, you can’t get around this. What you must do is have a range of pay to offer the employer with a very limited commitment to any particular dollar amount. In order to do this, you have to do your homework first on salary issues including:

A. Your financial requirements (wants and needs).
B. What the market will bear (range of pay for this job in this marketplace).

”A’ should not be too hard; you just need to do your budgeting. Never go into an interview without some kind of concept of what you want to make, need to make, and how realistic that amount is for your market and level. For instance, you should not be interviewing for a receptionist position in a small office in Florida if your salary requirement is $22.00 an hour. The most you could reasonably expect to make in this position is probably $9.00, and that could be on the high end.

A. Salary Survey and Pricing Yourself

Determining rates of pay for the position can be a little more complex, unless of course the company published a range. Some of the methods you can utilize to determine salary is:

A. Competitive research: Visit competitor’s websites to see if they post salaries.
B. Professional associations: If you are a member of a professional association for your industry, contact your local chapter. To join or gain information, visit your public library and ask the Reference Librarian for The Encyclopedia of Professional Associations.
C. Visit salary information Web sites such as and

Once you know your needs and what the market will bear, you are more prepared to handle this question. Stick to a range. Never, never say, ‘the absolute least I’ll take is. . .’ or ‘my ideal salary would be. . .’ Trust me, you could very easily have just undersold or oversold yourself too early in the interview process!

Stick with a non-committal answer such as:
‘As I mentioned, at this point I really don’t feel I have enough information to commit to a dollar amount. However, based on my knowledge of salary ranges for this position and my personal salary requirements, I am expecting the position pays somewhere in the $40s. . .’


‘I’d prefer to leave this topic until we’re more certain about my appropriateness for this position. However, I am expecting that the position will be somewhere in the $60s. . .’

See, that isn’t too hard. Again, it is just a matter of doing your homework and knowing your
guidelines so that you don’t sell yourself out of the job.

Also, if an employer asks you, ‘Would you accept $XX,XXX for your salary,’ you MUST counter with, ‘Is that an offer?’ If it is not an offer, refer back to one of your earlier answers about not being sure yet, etc. You are just being tested.”

An excerpt from Career Directors International Employment Interviewing Course


Women Earning Less Than Men? March 13, 2006

Filed under: Career & Workplace,Erin's Musings,Salary — erinkennedy @ 5:54 pm
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Being a woman, you can imagine how I felt when I recently read an article stating that women are STILL earning 12% less than a man in a comparable position. This is an important issue because at some point in our lives, 80-90% of all women will be solely responsible for their own finances, whether it be because of divorce, death, disability of a spouse, or just deciding to remain single.

Sure, sometimes, depending on where you work, might contribute to the “good old boys club” or gender discrimination theory. But after reading on, I found that some of what the author was saying to be true, we may be responsible for adding to this dilemma. The question is: Are we UnderEarners?

If you haven’t had a raise in over 2 years and don’t want to ask for one for fear of “rocking the boat”, you may be an underearner.

If you have a hard time telling your clients you are raising your fees, or consistently underbill them, you may be an underearner.

If you don’t market yourself, or “toot your own horn” either within the place you work, or with networks outside of work, you may be an underearner.

If you put so much time into volunteer activities that you just feel lucky to be employed and content to remain where you are financially, you may be an underearner.

Some of this sounds like you, so, what do we do, you ask?

1- Identify your financial needs, have a clear picture of what you need to earn and where you want to be (including identifying all expenses and any “incidentals” like car repair, home repair, etc.)
2- Research the position and your own qualifications within the industry. If they don’t meet your needs, then prepare to negotiate for a pay increase, or start looking for a job that will pay what you deserve.
3- NEGOTIATE. This is the key to showing the employer what you are worth and that you are committed to getting it. Have an up-to-date copy of your on-the-job accomplishments ready to show your boss what you have contributed as a back up for your request. Most importantly, be confident. You’ve earned it and you deserve it!

For further reading on these subjects, check out Mikelann R. Valterra’s book, “Why Women Earn Less, How to Make What You’re Really Worth”, or Nicholas Reid Schaffzin’s book, “Negotiate Smart: The Secrets of Successful Negotiation”.

Until next time,