Category Archives: Negotiating

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Security Clearance, “In Many Cases It’s Better Than Having an MBA”

CAREER HACK: If you are in an area where Security Clearance positions are in demand consider applying for these positions and gaining clearance. If you are able to receive Security Clearance it can boost your salary by 25% on average while providing stronger job security.Career Hacker Bill Inman Employment Jobs Interview Resume Blog Success Boss Work Hiring

Would getting a security clearance be better than getting an MBA degree? The Associated Press in their article “Security Clearance a Valued Resume Credential” discusses the advantages of having this clearance which is in high demand. Here are some highlights from the article:

  • Job candidates with security clearances are hotter-than-ever commodities in the Washington area and elsewhere, due to higher demand, tighter security requirements and a wave of baby-boomer retirements”
  • “If a soldier has good skill sets in the IT arena, he’ll have a job offer in five minutes”
  • “We see people hoping to retire, and their employers are pleading with them to stay. They say, ‘We’ll pay you another 30 grand to stay on board.”‘
  • “Estimates are that there are 100,000 unfilled security-clearance jobs, many of them in the Washington area, the largest market for such positions.”
  • “Those with security clearances earn an average 25 percent more than similarly skilled workers who lack them. That gap has been widening, too.”
  • “It’s in many cases better than having an MBA.”

Security Clearance a Valued Resume Credential. [Associated Press]


Career Hacker * * By Bill Inman *

Leveraging "Stretchwork" – Career Advancement Without Experience

According to Siobhan O’Mahony, Asst. Professor of Neotiations, Organizations, and Markets at the Harvard Business School, if you are a contractor or temp you need “stretchwork” to bridge the gap to a more rewarding position and enable them to manage and advance their careers in the less predictable world of contract labor. Stretchwork is work that fits with an individual’s previous experience and yet extends their skills in a new direction.

Here are 4 Stretchwork strategies from O’Mahony:

  • Differentiate competence. Anyone hoping to advance must distinguish his or her performance on the job. This is particularly true, however, for contract workers—because they are paid for each short-term job, their employers are likely to subject their work to close, freque nt evaluation.
  • Acquire referrals. Because high-tech contractors tend to work with a number of clients, brokers, and fellow contractors, they enjoy a broader social network from which to draw referrals than most permanent employees. In the film industry—where most hiring is done based on a production manager’s previous experience with an individual—referrals are a vital aspect of getting any job, particularly if it stretches a worker in a new direction.
  • Framing and bluffing. “This is one of the most creative attributes for obtaining stretchwork,” O’Mahony notes. “People who are good at presenting their prior experience in a way that allows for an easy translation to the desired job can narrow the gap between their past experience and future capabilities.” Adopting a hybrid job title to identify oneself—”director-screenwriter,” for example—can also help establish authority in more than one area.
  • Discounting. Accepting pay below the market rate is a temporary disadvantage some contract workers are willing to accept, if it means gaining the experience and exposure that will lead to a new position. One technical writer put it this way: “I turned down solid offers from three companies, all paying over $100K a year…I would take a job at $55K if they’re using a totally new technology so I learn something…It’s like playing pool…You hit the green ball with the white ball, and the point is to place the white ball to get the next shot. So I take that job in order to learn skills for my next project.”

Career Advancement Without Experience. [HBS Working Knowledge – Siobhan O’Mahony]

Career Hacker * * By Bill Inman *

What Kind of Raise Should Office Admin, IT, Legal, and Finance Personnel Expect in 2007?

Most employers “anticipate a less-than-4-percent base pay increase” for the vast majority of their workers in 2007, according to Sibson Consulting. “For someone earning $40,000 a year, a pay hike of 3 to 4 percent works out to as little as $100 per month before taxes, which is not exactly a reason to break out the bubbly,” writes Anne Fisher of Fortune Magazine. Here is more information on four specific areas:

Office administration:

  • Senior executive assistants’ pay range in 2007 is expected to rise 6.5 percent
  • Senior office managers’ salaries are projected to run 8.2 percent higher than in 2006, reaching $52,000 a year at the high end.
  • The salary guide also suggests ways to boost your market value: Add 9 percent to the salaries listed in the guide if you are bilingual, up to 10 percent if you hold a Microsoft Office Specialist certification, and 10 percent if you are a senior assistant supporting a C-level honcho in a large company.
  • Salary Guide – Office Administration – 

Information technology:

  • Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) tops the list of the most wanted skills, according to a Robert Half survey of 1,400 chief information officers, with 79 percent of CIOs.
  • Network administration (Cisco, Nortel, Novell) at 76 percent (most wanted skills).
  • Database management (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2) comes third at 69 percent (most wanted skills).
  • 57 percent of CIOs say they’re looking to hire people skilled in wireless network management and firewall administration.
  • 41 percent of these employers said they are more interested than ever before in hiring techies with “knowledge of business fundamentals, such as accounting, finance and general operations.” The IT salary guide shows that pay for experts in applications development, systems integration, and database administration has been climbing over the past couple of years, and in 2007 will rise well into six figures.
  • Salary Guide – IT –

The law:

  • First-year legal associates’ pay up 6.2 percent at big firms and 7.9 percent at midsized ones.
  • Office managers at law firms will make 6.3 percent more than in 2006.
  • A senior paralegal, meaning one with at least 7 years’ experience, will pull down 7.6 percent more in 2007, earning as much as $78,250. A midlevel paralegal (4-6 years’ experience) at a small law firm can expect a 7 percent bump, to somewhere between $40,500 and $55,500.
  • Salary Guide – Legal –

Accounting and finance:

  • Sarbanes-Oxley and a plethora of related new rules and regulations have pushed companies to increase their finance staffs by 68 percent since 2002, according to one study.
  • At large companies, average pay for chief compliance officers will jump 14.4 percent in 2007, to as much as $181,250, while compliance officers at midsize firms can expect to make 9.2 percent more than last year, or up to $97,750.
  • Salary Guide – Accounting –

How big will your raise be in 2007? [Fortune Magazine – Anne Fisher]

Career Hacker * * By Bill Inman *

Above Average Paying Jobs with a High Volume of Openings

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the following jobs have above average pay and projected number of openings through 2012.

Above-average paying jobs with openings

Career Hacker * * By Bill Inman *

More Education = More Earnings

The more education one receives the more money they are likely to earn. The following chart shows how average weekly earnings are effected by educational milestones.

Earnings Chart
Career Hacker * * By Bill Inman *

The Hot Major for Undergrads Seeking High Pay Is……


Jessica Vassellaro, of the Wall Street Journal Online writes, “according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, economics majors in their first job earn an average of nearly $43,000 a year — not as much as for computer-science majors and engineering majors, who can earn in excess of $50,000 a year. But those computer and engineering jobs look increasingly threatened by competition from inexpensive, highly skilled workers in places like India and China.”

“Economics and business majors ranked among the five most-desirable majors in a 2004 survey of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, along with accounting, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. It wasn’t just banks and insurance companies that expressed interest in economics majors — companies in industries such as utilities and retailing did so, too.”

“Indeed, the rising popularity of the economics major appears to be a global phenomenon. A recent McKinsey Global Institute study found that the share of degrees in economics and business awarded in Poland from 1996 to 2002 more than doubled, to 36% from 16%; in Russia, the share jumped to 31% from 18%.”

“Pooja Jotwani, a recent graduate of Georgetown University in Washington D.C., says she is certain her economics degree helped her land a job in Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s sales and trading division, where she will earn $55,000, not including bonus.”

The Hot Major for Undergrads Seeking High Pay Is Economics. [The Wall Street Journal Online – Jessica Vascellaro]

Career Hacker * * By Bill Inman *