No BS Job Search Advice: How to Negotiate in 3 Steps

How to Negotiate in 3 Steps

Let’s go through the questions you need to have answered as you go through the negotiating process.

First, how does this position fit your goal? How does the job match up with your original or revised objectives? If it matches up poorly, why are you even considering it? Money shouldn’t be there to tantalize or tempt you unless it’s an extraordinary amount more than what you’re looking for.

Second, if it matches up well enough, are there conditions or circumstances to improve it even more? For example, say it’s a position that requires heavy overtime and you’re taking classes two nights a week. Is there a way of fixing that, avoiding a potential conflict situation’s appearing later on? It’s better to deal with it in advance than to have a problem later.

Finally, money tends to the stumbling block for most people in negotiation. If they hit or match your minimum criteria you can always ask them, “Can you do a little bit better?” Now, if they’re way off on the figure, basically you’re faced with figuring out whether or not your desires are off-base with the market. Go to some of the online job boards, like the metasearch tools to see what people with skills like yours are being paid or be prepared to turn down the offer.

Ultimately when money comes up, you always want to see if you can improve the figures without getting into a tough, painful negotiation. Sometimes, they can do that with a sign-on bonus, but those aren’t ideal because they are a one time “fix” and next year your salary increase will be based upon the base salary, not the salary plus the bonus.

When negotiating, we’re looking at a couple of things, including does this job fit with what you’re looking for? Are there any rough spots that need to be fixed? And when we get to the money, if it meets the baseline, can you do a touch better? If it’s way out of line, ask yourself, are your goals out of line?

Because the fact remains, if you are way out of line, if the market for you is really a $100,000 market and you’re looking for $200,000, can you afford to stay out of work for that long? Are you being realistic or unrealistic with what your financial desires are and can you afford to do that? If you are working, why are you wasting your time and everyone else’s if your salary requirements are so out of whack with the market?

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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