Here’s how to avoid being lowballed in your next job.

Here’s how to avoid being low-balled in your next job. And how I made sure it would never happen again.

The journalism industry isn’t exactly known for having prestigious, high-paying jobs — Anna Wintour, Anderson Cooper, Ta-Nehisi Coates, etc., excluded, of course. Take my first foray into the field for example: three weeks out of journalism school, I scored my first interview at a newspaper. The executive editor offered me the job before I left his office — for the astounding salary of $10 an hour.

I’d worked my way through college, and earned more than that as a waitress. I politely but promptly turned down that offer and held out hope for the next one. It came in at a resounding $19,000 a year. I didn’t do the math to find out what that worked out to be per hour. Journalists, in addition to being poorly paid, are notoriously bad at math. Instead, I turned down that job offer and hoped, much against my better judgment, for more money.

I was so disheartened by those first two offers that when a third came in, topping the last one by $8,000, I took it without hesitation. And that set the tone for how I would approach my next job offer. I didn’t do the research to know whether I was getting a fair salary. I didn’t even check what my industry’s pay standards were at the time. I simply asked myself, “Is this more money than you’re making now?” The answer was yes, and I took my lower-than-I-should-have-accepted salary without negotiation. Read more here