The other day, I received this question on our Expert forum.
“I am in a situation where I have studied communication, got a distinction for my final year … its been 3 yrs and I have landed in so many unrelated jobs that I beginning to think that I will never work in communications … how can I get there and not be paid a beginners salary??”
This was my answer:
If you don’t want to get a beginner’s salary, don’t act like a beginner. Let’s cover the unrelated work experiences… Now the reason you’ve been working in unrelated fields is to get some LIFE experience right? (if it isn’t, it is now). You wanted to see how other industries worked and discover if communications was the RIGHT thing for YOU and… here’s the key… whether it was RIGHT FOR YOUR EMPLOYER TOO!!!.
You don’t want to be some “wet behind the ears” university or college graduate begging for a job in communications… You realize that communications is an ASSET to business and you feel NOW that you are ready to be an asset to not only your employer but your employer’s customers too. Do you see where I’m coming from?
Now, the money thing can be handled in two ways…
Negotiate in the interview for a pay increase when you reach certain targets or time period. For example, you could ask for a wage review in 6 months to revise your pay because you don’t want to work for $X – you’d ideally want $Y… This means you’d work at a lower rate to reduce some of the risk for the employer in exchange for them taking a chance on employing you. If at the end of X months they don’t give you the raise find out why and if the reason’s not good enough, you can quit because you have experience now… Or,
Establish the money UP FRONT in your application. “I am looking for a starting salary of $X… a fun work environment with lots of trees and ample parking and some crazy people to creatively grow your business. If you can offer this I would love to talk.” For anyone who has read my book they will know exactly where I am coming from with this and how to use it… you may be thinking: “I’m not saying anything like that, I’ll never get a job!” But there IS a way to say it and still not blow your chances of getting a job.
But I digress… There is only upside here… Let me explain:
Someone can meet your requirements and you get an interview or job… SUCCESS!
You are not desperate… you have supported yourself for 3 years outside of the communications industry.
Every rejection you get will be coming from businesses that you probably don’t want to work in… assuming that you want lots of trees, crazy people and ample parking, etc.
Face it… there are so many bored employees working in jobs they hate, do you really want to be one of those or do you want a creative, fun work environment? I know what I would choose.
by Acland Brierty
SHAMELESS PLUG: Job Secrets Revealed will teach you how to read between the lines of any ‘situations vacant’ ad to work out how to best pitch your application, regardless of whether you meet their up-front skills or experience requirements.