Dear Evil HR Lady,

About a year ago I finished my MBA. While working on my MBA, I had imagined that there would be plenty of opportunities when I graduated. Unfortunately even with an advanced degree, my two years in finance are not enough to qualify me for advanced positions. My current employer gave me a great retention bonus, yet no raise. Senior management told me that I do an outstanding job, and that they do not want to lose me. My current salary is only a couple of thousand dollars more than when I started with the company and is significantly less than what my current position was advertised for.

I get the bonus in December and am not sure that they are going to offer me the salary I have in mind. I am wondering if you can give me some tips for negotiating. Also should I be looking at other jobs so that I have firm counter offers to come back to them with? My student loans are all due and I cannot afford to pay those and pay all of my other monthly bills like my mortgage and car payment.

My MBA Isn’t Helping My Career

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8 thoughts on “My MBA Isn’t Helping My Career

  1. Honestly, I think you get the most bang for your MBA buck after you've been in the workforce about 10 years. Then, it really starts to be a separating factor. With a limited amount of experience, it doesn't communicate a lot about what the person can actually do.

  2. I think you should explore your options. Check out the .gov average wages website, - they show minimum range up by city. See what's being offered on your local job boards for positions you'd qualify for and stand a good chance of obtaining. Then make a decision based on the facts regarding what your expertise and experience is really worth in your area.

    If it's far enough off the mark of what you're making now, you need to explore opportunities further. Keep in mind that alot of people are still competing for whatever jobs are available. Though you may be technically qualified, it doesn't mean you'll get the job. The best positions always seek highly experienced candidates.

    So you need to know exactly what you should expect based on the market before you take any action or make/accept any offer.

    Good luck!

  3. Why on earth would a company give you a raise for getting an optional degree? I've been in the compensation field for 25 years and that's not the norm at all.

    And if you have two years worth of experience and you're making a couple of thousand more than you started at, congratulations! You managed to get at least one raise (and a fairly generous one at that) in a time when a great number of companies were giving no raises at all.

  4. Some people may disagree with my advise, but I recommend that you search for other jobs. This will open many doors. (i) It will give you perspective of what kind of jobs are out there. (ii) It will give you an idea of how much money your time is worth. (iii) It will give you more confidence to negotiate and give you a foundation for the negotiations.

  5. nice answer James Delano,
    i also passed out from Insead, but then too i was not satisfied with my first job, then i changed it and now i am happy
    I just only want to say is that having an mba degree is enough to get a nice satisfied job

  6. In my experience it pays to have patience. If you like your job, give it time, if you are not nuts about it, look for a place where you want to spend your time in. Professional development is a long term everyday process; your tools (MBA) will help you grow faster. Life in work is not about diplomas alone, it’s more about what you can produce. Take a look at your skills / personal trait inventory and build on it. You are in well poised to be in the fast track. I got my CMA at age 55. I grew professionally to a Director’s position after 15 years of experience.

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