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February 22, 2007

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1) Check

2) What job offer?

3)I earn minimum wage and have student loan debt. (Fuggetaboutit.)

4)I have a very specific financial goal to have enough money to last until my next paycheck.

5)Check.

6)See #3

7)Check

8)See #3

9)See #3

10)See #3

11)See #3

12) I have a minimum wage job, remember?

13)See #3

14)See #3

As am employer, I can assure you that #2 is very bad advice for a new graduate in some industries (law, accounting, banking all come to mind). Salaries in these industries for new graduates tend to be fixed within each employer. Asking for a higher salary shows ignorance and arrogance. At this stage of your career, getting the right job with the best employer is far more important than salary.

Of course, at more senior levels things become very different.

I had an on-campus interview for an entry-level IT position with a local employer. When the interviewer brought up the salary issue (I had hoped to avoid it in the interview entirely) I replied that I was confident in my skills and expected to advance in the payscale, and that I wasn't particularly concerned with my starting salary (which I expected to improve before long). I threw out the range $8K-$10K; this was in 1980. The interviewer thought I was selling myself short; I just wanted the job and believed my pay would reach its appropriate level. Later on I was told that the successful candidate (another graduating student) got the job because he had gained some Work-Study related IT experience which I lacked. I wonder if my interview answer was wrong for the IT field at that time.

For the guy with the minimum wage job: he has a point; if you don't got it, then you just don't got it.

Here's a clue: get a better job. There's nothing wrong with earning minimum wage while you're working on lining up something better. But if minimum wage is your only solution, then expect poverty.

What's with the student loan debt? That education seems worthless if all it got you was a minimum wage job. Heck, you can get a minimum wage job WITHOUT college! So what's the education debt all about?

Bottom line: figure out how to make more money so your budgeting and planning can actually do you some good.

For what it's worth,

JC

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