A Career College and Job-Search Advice Column
Dr. Randall Hansen a nationally recognized career expert is the Career Doctor. Discover more about Dr. Hansen read about the purpose of this column and find previous issues of this column at the home of The Career Doctor.
If you have any college career or job-related questions or comments that Dr. Hansen could provide valuable assistance with please feel free to email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Hansen writes this column on a biweekly basis.
In This Issue (05/23/03):
- Preparing for six-month review/raise meeting
- Dealing with the potential of multiple offers
- Making career change after receiving degree
- Contemplating options after completing MBA
|Q:||Amy writes: I am a sales representative also in charge of all marketing and branding. My 6 month review is next week and I want to go in prepared and confident. I also want to ask for a raise. I have never had a review before and I’m nervous. How can the employee best prepare herself for the review?|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: It’s only natural to be a little nervous a bit anxious. The best advice I can give you is to devise a strategy for the meeting. Go to the meeting prepared with examples of your accomplishments and contributions and a plan for how you will continue making those and more accomplishments in the future. You should have a realistic idea of the size of the raise you want based on company policies and what you’re worth in the marketplace.
Some other tips concerning asking for a raise:
You find other strategies in latest article published on Quintessential Careers: Getting the Raise You Deserve.
|Q:||Victoria writes: Dear Dr. Hansen: The scenario is this. If I have a job interview on a Wednesday and another (more preferred) interview on a Thursday how should I handle it if the Wednesday interview results in a job offer on the spot? Should I accept the first offer and then decline it if the second one becomes available or do I level with them that I have other interviews and would like a couple of days to mull it over? Would this put the first offer in jeopardy? I certainly wouldn’t want to insult anyone and appear to be hedging my bets (even though that’s what I would be doing). Any suggestions for proper direction? Thanks.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: In any kind of job-hunting situation where a job-seeker is facing a tough choice the solution is always to determine which alternative is the least offensive to the prospective employer(s). In your scenario it would be much worse to accept the first offer only to rescind the acceptance the next day.
The even better news for you is that there is much precedence in a job-seeker asking for time to consider an offer. In fact my advice for all job-seekers would be to ask for time to consider the offer — if only to give you some time to think about it with a clear head. The stress of job interviews is enough to push some of us over the edge but combine that with the excitement over getting the offer and you have a job-seeker’s brain which is not functioning at peak capacity.
And if the employer did question your motives for not accepting the job on the spot that might be a sign that you really would not want to work there anyway.
But all this advice might be moot because as my mother says while it’s good to think of all possible scenarios you may be putting the cart before the horse. I continue to hear more and more of employers extending the typical job-search — where a search may have been completed in several weeks now they are taking several months.
So if you do not immediately get an offer from either employer do not panic. Be sure to write your thank you letters to all your interviewers and be sure to follow-up with both companies.
For other interviewing tips and advice go to the Interviewing Resources section of Quintessential Careers.
|Q:||Karen writes: I’ve been a travel agent for 10 years and am making less than $25000.00 per year. I’ve recently received my Bachelors degree and am very interested in changing careers to the human resources field. Since my salary is so low do you feel even with my degree it would be hard to even change careers and achieve a salary over $39000.00 per year? What is the best route to break into a new career in human resources?|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: There are any number of reasons why people change careers though usually it revolves around discovering a new career passion or interest — and not so much on the money. I’m a little concerned that you have such a focus on salary and not on other issues.
Often when you change careers – no matter how many years of work experience you have in other fields — you take a pay-cut because you have achieved a certain level within your old career. The good news for you though is that you should see a pay increase from the $25000 you have been making — but don’t expect a huge jump.
The salary offer you may receive depends greatly on the position within HR you are hired for the geographic location the industry and the company itself. You can get an idea of salary ranges you might expect based on some of these criteria by using a resource such asSalary.com.
I would also consult with the professionals in your college’s career services office a few of your former HR professors and the resources of the Society of Human Resource Management – one of your professional organizations.
Your best method of finding a new job in this field is through networking. Use professional organizations alumni career services friends and family and other sources for building your network of contacts. Let them know you have recently received your degree and are in the midst of a career change.
Resources that can help you in this career change:
|Q:||Anonymous writes: I’m a journalist with a number of years of daily newspaper experience. I am currently working at a fairly large paper. I’m getting an MBA part time and I’ll graduate in August 2004. It’s a 36 credit program with no specialties. I am in a dead-end job at my paper and have no chance of moving forward because of office politics. I’m not sure what I can do with an MBA and my experience. My school does not have career placement services. I’m considering law school after my MBA. What are my options with and without law school? Will I potentially earn more money with a law degree?|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: I just read an alarming statistic that graduate school applications especially MBAs and law school are up dramatically this year over last as more and more people are at least attempting to earn graduate degrees in hopes of landing a better job — or any job — in a better economy once their graduate education is complete.
I don’t understand the thinking of job-seekers such as those – or you — that enter into a graduate program with no clear career strategy. The MBA is going to give you certain credentials to open many doors in business to you especially combined with your years of work experience. The MBA is a symbol to employers that you have the ability to think strategically analyze situations formulate plans and implement plans.
Of course you could also combine two of your interests and try to move forward with your journalistic career into business reporting but I sense you may be getting tired of journalism.
One of the current trends in graduate education is the idea of dual graduate degrees and the MBA/JD is one of the largest combinations. Many of these folks go into corporate law with all sizes of organizations. The benefit of having the strategic knowledge along with the legal knowledge is very appealing.
You really need to map out a strategy for your career before going any farther. I recommend you read my article Developing a Strategic Vision for Your Career Plan published on Quintessential Careers.
And since you are currently in an MBA program I also recommend reviewing some of the resources we have in the Job and Career Resources for MBAs section of Quintessential Careers. These sites will at least give you an idea of the types of career paths and jobs for job-seekers with MBAs.