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You just graduated from college. Thankfully, you received a job offer relatively quickly - what a relief! However, the salary the company is offering you isn’t as much as you expected. So, you’re probably going back and forth wondering, “Should I negotiate salary or would they laugh in my face?” So, is it ever appropriate for a recent grad to negotiate salary? The answer is: it depends. If you’re applying for an entry-level job with a set salary, then no, you don’t want to try to negotiate salary. The company was very clear about what it was willing to pay you and you have to be willing to accept that. However, in many cases, companies don’t talk about the salary in the initial stages of the hiring process. In this case, you would need to do your homework. Go to Glassdoor, look up this company, and check out the estimated salary ranges for this particular position. This will give you an idea of what to expect. You can also use Glassdoor to look up competitors to see what they’re paying employees in this type of role so you can compare salary rates. If the company you’re interested in isn’t paying the market rate for the role, you can go back to the organization after getting the job offer and ask for more money... BUT you NEED to have a game plan if you’re going to do this, according to career expert J.T. O’Donnell. “If you think about it, no company is going to pay you more money just because,” said O’Donnell. “You have to give them some valid reasons why.” If you feel like you can’t prove that you’re worth the additional income, then you can propose a six month review (instead of an annual review). If you can prove your value during that time, then they might be open to paying you more money at that point.

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Congratulations on graduating from college! Now it’s time for the hard part: finding a job. After years of all-nighters, Scranton tests, and term papers, it’s time to hang up your backpack and pick up your briefcase. But when's the best time to look for a job after college? When should you start looking for a job? The short answer is: immediately. Unfortunately, that might not be what you want to hear (or, in this case, read). You might be tempted to take the summer off and enjoy your “last summer” before officially entering the “real world.” And hey, I don’t blame you. However, this probably isn’t the best thing for you to do right now. Hate to break it to you. “The truth is, employers want to see hustle,” said career expert J.T. O’Donnell. “They want to see drive, they want to see eagerness.” What they DON’T want to see, according to O’Donnell, is someone who sits back and waits for opportunities to come. Great employers are looking for grads who are proactive and take initiative. The competition is tough during graduation season, it’s true. Everyone is getting out and looking for work, so it can be hard to stand out. But you need to get started as soon as possible in order to get ahead of the game. “The sooner you get out there, the sooner you can prove to employers that YOU are the one to hire,” said O’Donnell. Plus, even if you start now, it could take months to find a job after college. So, don’t put it off - otherwise, you might set yourself up for an extra long stay at your parents house while you look for a job…

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June 2015 officially marked the third year I’ve worked full-time for CAREEREALISM Media. I’ve had lots of success here - I spearheaded my very first content campaign, I wrote my very first ebook, and - with the knowledge I acquired from this job - I wrote an article on LinkedIn that received over 600,000 views. It’s been a crazy, awesome ride (to say the least). RELATED: Need some career advice? Watch these tutorials! In honor of my third work anniversary, I’ve gathered the three most important lessons my boss taught me about success. Here they are:

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