By Matt Lehrer, Career Coach
Believe it or not, it is important to start thinking about offers before you begin interviewing. You should explore what the going salaries are in your your chosen career. Keep in mind that base salaries typically represent the going compensation for that particular job, and these numbers are change somewhat due to the size and prestige of the organization, as well as the cost of living in the region.
While websites that provide salary information can be a helpful starting point, they are no substitute for asking people in the field what they consider to be the going rate for entry level positions. This is a good subject to bring up early on in your research when conducting informational interviews. Simply ask about the acceptable compensation range.
Once you have conducted some research, think about your personal compensation needs. How much would you need to simply survive in the area in which you are planning to live? Based on this, what is the minimum you would accept for your dream job, based on the acceptable compensation range? What is the highest salary you could reasonably expect?
Once you have some reasonable numbers clear in your head, you are ready to start interviewing!