Recent studies reveal that graduates have unrealistic salary expectations when searching for their first jobs. Even though many first-time job seekers view graduate programs and internships as a great stepping stone to fruitful careers, many of these graduates are of the belief that when employed, what they’ll be doing will be on par with what they’ll be earning.
The Universum Student Survey Report of 2013/2014 compiled by the Tshwane University of Technology found that of all the students interviewed from 23 universities across the country, 66% were concerned about finding employment at the end of their studies. The annual report which gathers research regarding individuals’ career preferences, communication habits and perception of potential employers revealed that on average these students expected an annual salary of R271 164 per annum.
Although numerous graduates have unreasonably high salary expectations, many first-time job seekers are too picky. In his Youth must seize all job opportunities article, Abram Molelemane of the Graduate Asset Programme writes that South African youth are “constantly ranting and whining about the government’s failure to create jobs, yet, when working opportunities present themselves, we are quick to say ‘I don’t want that kind of job’, or, ‘this is not what I studied for’”.
Business owners also share the same sentiments, with many going as far as disregarding interns who demand unrealistic salaries.
It is essential that graduates realize work experience counts for much in today’s job market. As a first-time job seeker it is important that you do background research to find out what you can expect to earn as you start out. It will be beneficial for both you and your employer if from the start you are honest about your expectations. Lastly, be patient. As your career progresses, so will your earning potential improve.
Courtesy of Careers24
How to Answer the Question “What Was Your Last Salary?”
When we were all kids working at the local shop the minimum wage was R5.75 an hour. We didn’t last long at that job. Nonetheless, if the minimum wage had risen at the same rate as inflation, it would be over R200 an hour by now, instead of what it is.
What does that tell you? Real wages have dropped like a stone. Annual salary increases at most large and medium-sized employers have plummeted or disappeared altogether. That means your best hope for keeping your income in line with the cost of living is to change jobs every now and then. There’s only one problem with that plan. When you apply for a job at a new company, their first question to you is likely to be “What were you earning at your last job?” The less you earned, the smaller your new job offer is going to be. Your past, unexciting wages will dog you forever!
If you were earning R 10 000, your new job offer might come in at R 11 000. Notwithstanding the exacting pay grades, salary charts and ranges laid out by bureaucrats the world over, the strongest predictor of a new hire’s starting salary is whatever he or she was earning at the last job.
That’s discouraging – and pathetic! If an organisation doesn’t know how to value your talents other than by looking at what somebody else paid you in a completely different situation, they don’t know squat about the talent market. How are you ever going to increase your earnings if every time you change jobs, you get a tiny raise over what they paid you at the last place? Drinking toxic lemonade over the years, we’ve gotten used to the idea that the question “What were you earning before?” from a prospective employer is perfectly reasonable. It’s not, of course. Your personal finances are your business.
When we call the plumber because our tub drain is clogged, we don’t ask “What did you charge the guy down the block to unclog his drain last week?” If we do, the plumber is going to say “My rate is R95 an hour. Do you want me to come over, or not?” Plumbers have avoided the ’weenification’ process the rest of us have subjected ourselves to. A generalisation of course – I haven’t met every plumber in the world – but the impression is that plumbers and other tradespeople are way ahead of the suit-and-tie crowd when it comes to saying what they think. They don’t become mealy-mouthed and hesitant the way business people so often do when they really should speak up, on the job search or on the job.
They don’t fawn and grovel the way job-seekers have been taught to do, and are still being encouraged to do by experts who tell them to please everyone, say anything, and be anyone the employer wants them to be, just to get the job. That’s what passes for job search advice today — advice about how to scrape and bow and beg for a job. Sickening, isn’t it? We can de-weenify ourselves any time we want. The first step in draining the toxic lemonade from our veins, of course, is to realise it’s there.
For some reason nearly all of us have come to believe that the most intrusive personal questions are perfectly fine when they’re asked in the context of a recruiting process. That’s ridiculous. You already know my feelings about the heinous interview questions “With all the talented candidates, why should we hire you?” and “What’s your greatest weakness?”
The question “What were you earning before?” (or the variation “What are you earning now?”) falls into the same category. These are all questions that one adult lacks the social right to ask another. Yet we happily bleat “Oh, I was earning sixty-eight five over at Miles Prower Products” because we believe that in the hiring process, employers have the upper hand. Employers will have the upper hand in your job search as long as you give them it to them. When you decide that you have something valuable and unique to bring to your next organisation — when you really believe it, and act out of that conviction — you’ll quickly move past the managers who don’t deserve you, and focus on the ones who do. You won’t hand over confidential information about your past salaries, because that’s nobody’s business but your own.
Here’s what you’ll do, instead. You’ll give your prospective next boss the information s/he really needs to make the Go/No Go decision, which is your target salary level. With that number, your boss or recruiter can quickly determine whether it makes sense to keep talking with you or not. They don’t need your past salaries to make that call. So why hand your personal information over?
Adapted from an article written by Liz Ryan from the Human Workplace
My Salary Is Just Not Enough!
We are in the middle of strike season. Many unions have requested unrealistic increases but, when one looks at the cost of living, their demands can be understood. The reality is that companies cannot afford to give the increases that have been demanded. Profit margins are tight and budgets have to be adhered to. Increasing salaries will often result in cutbacks seeing some of your colleagues without work. Personal budgeting has to come into play.
Here are a few tips not to fall into the debt trap:
Avoid Opening Accounts:
It is so easy to get given huge credit at retailers. Sadly, trying to find the money to pay this debt often lands you in trouble. Remember, the price tag at time of your purchase might read R99 but, by the time you have paid off the account with the additional interest, this item could have cost you more than three times the purchase price. You cannot finance a lifestyle that you cannot afford.
Fuel is not going to get any cheaper. See if you can carpool to work and/or arrange carpools to get your children to school. This can result in a huge saving.
Contracts are often more expensive than the pay as you go options. Access to free wifi has improved tremendously. Be careful of running up high data costs by taking advantage of free wifi zones. Communicate with your friends via the free options such as facebook and what’s app.
Smart Grocery shopping:
Food is an essential. Be inventive and use what you have in your cupboards and only purchase what you need. Avoid slipping the odd item from the sweet isle into your basket. Keep money aside during the month to purchase perishables and when you make supermarket stops only buy what is on your list.
Economists believe that if people cut out additional spending and assess what their priorities are in terms of spending, budgeting becomes easier. Debt levels in this country are increasing rapidly and trying to break free from this debt is often impossible given the flat increases and rising prices. Live within your means.
Yours in Personnel