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Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Golden Question: Elizabeth Benacka

What’s one lesson you’ve learned the hard way and who could you have asked for help?


I received my first full-time job offer when I was 18 as a receptionist in law firm downtown Chicago. Being broke with no other means of support, I took that offer without negotiating for a higher salary. Over the next ten years, I earned consistent promotions, but it was really difficult to justify increasing my salary beyond a specific percentage of that initial base amount. Looking back, I should have sought out advice from my brother, who was establishing his career in a related field. I now encourage my students to try and negotiate that first job offer!