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Should I ask for a lower starting salary?

PhotonicsPays
Jan 2007

Q. I am putting in my resume for a manager's position that has just opened up in the store where I am a sales associate. I have been in retail for about five years and with this company for about six months. I have a degree in textiles, apparel and merchandising and a minor in business administration. The manager who is leaving speaks very highly of me. The median salary for my area is about $36,000. Should I ask for less because I have no management experience? Or should I ask for a range of $32,000 to $36,000 and see what they offer?

A. If the median salary is $36,000, that means the candidate and/or incumbent for this position should have several years of experience as a sales manager in a retail store. Median salary is typically offered to incumbents who are competent to function proficiently in a job.

Since you have no managerial experience and therefore do not have all the necessary skills and knowledge, I would ask for a salary less than the median. But I would also wait to hear what the company offers before stating a number.

Even though you do currently have the skills and experiences to justify paying you a median salary, you should take this opportunity to ask your company what type of training programs they have in place to help you learn to become a more competent sales manager.

Good luck.

- Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Professional
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