What should I be expecting my first job to pay?

I am a recent college graduate. I graduated from Hofstra University where I majored in political science and minored in civic engagement. While I was in school I was involved on campus in the Center of Civic Engagement in addition to interning for the New York City's Mayor's Office and a nonprofit organization entitled the Coalition for Public Safety. During my senior year in college I was able to get an article published in a political science journal. Currently I work as a marketing coordinator for a startup called Juniors Read. I've been looking for a career job these last 7 months and I haven't been able to come up with anything. I've interviewed with the government, nonprofits, other startups and I have yet to get an offer. I thought I'd reach out and see if anyone can steer me in the right direction. I want to make sure my standards aren't unreasonable. I would like a job that pays $50,000 (but I'm open to negotiation). Should I just settle for a customer service job instead? What do I need to do to get noticed! I agreed to get into a lot of debt in order to further my career opportunities but so far it seems like I wasted my time going to college.

Asked by BAHATIHofstra University

1 Answer


I don't think your salary expectations are unreasonable at all. So it sounds like you just need to find that role you're looking for! Do you feel like you've been truly exhaustive in your search thus far? Have you left no stone unturned? Have you diversified the job sites you're looking at and looked for new sites too? Are you staying organized in your search by using a spreadsheet? Are you following up with applications you sent out? Are you setting goals for new applications to send every day, week, month? I'm just trying to give some suggestions to help give you some ideas as to how you could level up your search!

Regarding settling and taking a customer service job – if you can afford the time and money, I'd recommend not settling. Career investments are similar to any other investment in that they compound over time. The sooner you get into the field you want to, the sooner you can level up and establish authority, or get out of it and find your true calling. So just make sure you're being extremely deliberate, focused and active about finding a job you'd be excited about so you can really say that you tried everything to make the best move for your career, and not just getting any job you can. Maybe drink some coffee too :p. I'm sure you can do it!

Answered by MitchellUniversity of Maryland-College Park