Guest blog: Understanding Your Salary

Please note that the views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not those of SOAS Careers Service. If you consider this content to be in breach of the SOAS values, please alert careers@soas.ac.uk

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When looking for a job, you’ll no doubt be searching for something that you’d love to do or an employer you’d love to work for but, most likely, your eye is first drawn to the amount you’re going to get paid. That’s pretty understandable, after living off supermarket branded beans for the past few years. But do you know how much money you’ll actually be earning?

It’s easy to forget that the amount you’re offered won’t actually be the amount you get to take home. Depending on how much you earn, there’ll be payments such as tax and student loan repayments to think about. You may even be eligible for the work place pension scheme that you will automatically need to pay into.

So how do you work out what you can expect to actually get paid? Using an online salary calculator (available here) is a quick and easy way to do so. It’ll calculate your take-home pay so you know exactly how much money you can expect to see in your bank account each month – after deductions have been made.

Once your take-home pay has been calculated, you’ll be able to work out what you can afford on that salary. Consider how much rent you’ll be paying, travel costs and other essential items. You may find that the given salary isn’t quite as much as you first thought.

Money isn’t everything when it comes to finding a job but getting to grips with understanding your true salary will mean that you’re better prepared to handle your finances when it comes to securing your first job.

Guest blog by Christina Hirst on behalf of NatWest

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