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Money Finding a Job Job Interviews Incentives

I am a recent college grad and I have been working for a start-up company for substantially less money than I would have been paid if I had accepted a more conventional job, mainly because there are stock incentives here. Things are not working out, and I am going to leave. My question is whether my low salary is going to hold down my starting salary level in my next job.

In applying for your next job, your relatively low salary should be accompanied by an asterisk. It should indicate that you joined a start-up venture at a less-than-market rate for your skills, experience, and education because of a combination of opportunity and stock incentives.

The fact is that if your value in the marketplace were merely your present salary, you would have not been provided with stock incentives. It is apparent that you are worth more, and the start-up company recognized that through the incentive program, whether you actually profited from the package or not.

At this point, you should think about a salary range that is acceptable to you. Consider not only your education, skills, experience, and current market price for people with your background, but also look at yourself in terms of the value that you will be able to add to a company. Think also about the incentives that you would like in your next package, as this type of planning can help lead to a work situation in which you ultimately have less incentive to leave.

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