I was thinking about jobs, pay rates and the recession the other day and I found myself thinking about my first job. It was nothing spectacular, but it was a job and that was a reason to cheer. It was a big deal because I graduated from college at the end of a major recession and jobs were not plentiful. I spent over three months searching for something, anything besides fast food. One day a gentleman called me in response to my resume submission and invited me to an interview. I was ecstatic to learn that the interview would be over lunch and he was paying. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
One of the questions he asked me was "How much are you looking to make?" That same day I had a pending offer paying $11,000 per year working as a Manager in Training at a fast food place. I didn't want to make less than that but I didn't want to price myself too high. I answered, "I'd like to make $11,000 a year. He looked at me for a minute and laughed, literally laughed and said "I wouldn't pay you less than $13,000 a year. I had died and gone to heaven.
Two weeks later I was dressed in a shirt and tie ready to take my desk as a green Technical Recruiter. I'm no millionaire and my career has had some ups and downs, but I have learned a few things.
1. Don't be afraid to ask for a decent wage. If they like you, they'll make a counter offer.
2. There are always jobs out there, but you have to be willing to do some things you might not want to do.
3. Keep hope alive. In the lowest of times, light does shine through.
I would love to hear some other stories of first jobs. Please leave a comment.
Live Free or Die