Welcome to SixFigureStart®

Career Coaching by Former Fortune 500 Recruiters

Social Networking Is Not Just About Networking

Because LinkedIn and Facebook are referred to as social networking, most jobseekers use them primarily or even exclusively as networking tools.  However, social networks are valuable at every stage of the job search, not just networking.

Target identification.  Use the detailed profiles in LinkedIn to get a better understanding of different job functions and career paths.  If you think you want to work in corporate philanthropy, find people who have these jobs and review their experience, skills, and projects.  Use this as a guide to what you might need in your career, or at least as good issues to research.

Company and industry research.  Again using the profile data, pay attention to how people talk about their work.  The projects people are working on are invaluable clues to deciphering what their company exactly does, especially when it is a small, privately held company with little published information about clients or projects.  Group Discussions are another way to get a sense for a company or industry.  Find a company alumni group or industry niche and follow the discussions or ask questions out right.

Salary data.  Use the Q&A function or specific Group Discussions in LinkedIn to collect data on salary, lifestyle, growth prospects, and other useful information for your own offer negotiation.   Because so many geographies and industries are represented on online social networks you can specify exactly what you are looking for and likely find a close proxy.

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When Can You Ask For Your Pay Cut Back?/ SixFigureStart on Forbes.com

Many companies are freezing salaries or even reducing pay.  See my advice on if and when you can negotiate for more money in Tara Weiss’ latest article for Forbes.com:


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How Much Does Your Past Salary Impact Future Prospects

I am planning to accept a job that pays below market because everything else about it is ideal, and I expect to move in two to three years anyway.  How much impact will the lower salary have on my future negotiations?    

This was a question from one of our last coaching telecalls.   Read my advice for this jobseeker in my latest post on The GlassHammer:


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Cha-Ching: How Money Influences The Job Search

See all of our recruiting blogs for the student jobseeker at Vault.com:


Cha-Ching Off-Campus / How Money Influences Your Search
Posted on MAR 30, 2009 12:00 A.M.

Posted By Caroline Ceniza-Levine


I recently coached a client who was trying to identify suitable target industries.  She also wanted to start at $50,000 (she is an undergraduate, class of 2009, in NYC).  When I pointed out that her target salary implied banking and consulting and not much else, she was taken aback and quickly lowered her target salary to $40,000.  I pointed out that even at $40,000 she ruled out media, advertising, PR, and many non-profits that start out in the $30’s, sometimes less.  She was again aghast. 


Frankly, I was aghast.  That she could lower her target by 20% so quickly suggested that she hadn’t really thought about her budget — a 20% swing is a big deal.  That she wasn’t aware of typical base salaries in different industries suggested that she hadn’t researched the money while researching industries for her search. 


Money influences your search.  You don’t want to target a job only to find out that it doesn’t pay what you expected.  Here are money issues you need to work out in order to have a productive job search:


What is your budget?  You may have student loan payments to make.  You may want to live on your own.  You may target an expensive city like New York.  All of these considerations need to be factored into your search.  If you want to live in NY and your parents can’t subsidize you and you have $500 loan payments kicking in, add up your expected budget and figure out how you’re going to meet that.  You may decide to still pursue an industry whose typical starting salary doesn’t cover this, but then you know you need to supplement with bartending, retail, or some other source of income


What are your dream jobs paying at the entry-level?  Salaries for some low-paying industries can rise dramatically over time when you consider executive or management positions.  There are six-figure jobs in PR, advertising and non-profit.  If you can take a long-term view, don’t let the entry-level salary dissuade you from a genuine interest you have.  However, you should still be aware of what entry-level salaries are so, coupled with the budget question, you ensure that you take care of yourself in the short term.


How important is money in general to you?  Will you take your second choice company if it offers more money?  Do you need to have a performance bonus incentive or the promise of rapid salary growth?  Is money a key sign of status, something you hadn’t thought of until reading this column, or something in-between?  Every job comes with a salary, benefits and other money-related implications so you need to know how you feel about money in order to have a job search that reflects your priorities and values.


Ask the above questions now while you are planning your search, not when you have the pressure and urgency of an offer to consider.



Cha-Ching On-Campus / How Money Influences Your Search


Posted By Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio


On Wall Street, some things have changed dramatically and other things haven’t changed much at all.


Dramatic change:  the number of entry level full-time and summer hires made by top firms from campus recruiting efforts; Little change:  the entry level salary once you are hired.  From Caroline’s email above there seems to be some uncertainty as far as salaries go.  So why don’t we clear this up– starting at the high end and moving downward: 


$60,000 – $65,000:  Investment Banking, Global Markets, Asset Management, Consulting:  For those select candidates that find themselves the recipient of a full-time offer in these disciplines, good for you!  Up until last year, they were the “sexy” businesses and still lucrative if you can grab a coveted spot.  Bonuses will be down, but the salary remains the same.  These disciplines will look for a GPA is at a 3.8 or above, or you may not make the resume screen.


$60,000:  Technology:  There is still a supply and demand issue here and you are a more attractive candidate if you pair it with a business minor.


$55,000:  Wealth Management and Accounting majors will garner this salary, and if it’s accounting, your goal will most likely be to work for one of the Big 4:  1) Pricewaterhouse Coopers, 2) Deloitte & Touche, 3) Ernst & Young, and 4) KPMG. Remember that they don’t pay bonuses to entry level hires – smaller bonuses are paid to more senior managers, but if you work in financial services, a bonus could be yours. 


$50,000 – $55,000:  Engineers rule!  Obama recently mentioned the importance they will play in our economy going forward.  Chemical Engineers are at the high point, followed by Electrical and later Mechanical and then Civil.  Whatever the focus, Engineering is a great discipline.  In fact, I’ve heard that there are fewer than 200 Ocean Engineers in the U.S. so supply and demand applies here.


$45,000 – $50,000:  Marketing, Operations, Compliance, Human Resources.  These areas offer solid entry level positions into a company and with them come exposure.  For example, you could be an HR analyst, and face off against investment banking one year, followed by markets the next, and wealth management the next.  Spring boarding into another discipline could be your goal once you do well here.


$35,000 – $40,000:  Media, Public Relations, Advertising.  A liberal arts degree can land you into one of these disciplines and that is a good thing because if you are smart & learn from the bottom up, a good career can be hard.


A global Universum study found that graduating seniors ranked work/life balance as the #1 concern.  From the US to Europe, to PacRim there was only one exception:  Indian engineers who ranked it #2.  But Caroline makes a great point in her blog above …six-figure salaries appear in every profession, you just need to build your career the right way to ensure you get there. 

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Start of something new…

The best time to plant a tree…was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. Chinese Proverb

Ok, so Connie and I are finally planting our “blog” tree.  For those of you who read our various newsletters and columns, THANK YOU.  We will still write those.  But this blog we can update more frequently.  I can also answer questions more immediately here…SixFigureStart got a question yesterday from a candidate being offered a lower salary than he expected.  He wants to mention that the offer doesn’t cover his living expenses…For those of you in salary negotiations, it’s NOT about your living expenses.  It’s about the company — what you can do for them and what they are willing to pay for it.  Check out my advice on getting a salary jump on Wetfeet: http://www.wetfeet.com/Experienced-Hire/Salary/Experts/Negotiating-Up.aspx.   Remember that salaries, like trees, grow over time and often are anchored in their original roots.  The best time to get the maximum salary is in the beginning of job and career.  But for those of you who aren’t switching jobs or started with a low salary, you can still become a better negotiator and ask for a raise…The best time to get a good salary is years ago, the second best time is today.

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