Smart Job Negotiations: Ensure Fit


In my last two posts, I’ve shared some of my favorite strategies in smartly negotiating your next role. The first post covered not bargaining before the deal, and delaying money talk first two . I most recently addressed voicing vulnerability and not jumping on an offer . Today’s fifth and sixth strategies in my six-tip suite are often overlooked.

5. Redesign the Job Accountabilities

It is important to negotiate what the job really entails, because this range of your compensation is determined by the responsibilities you step into. It is not uncommon for folks to capture more money by reshaping the job into a larger one.

Of course, sometimes it’s set. No bargaining room. Sometimes it’s for the making; it’s your job to share what the employer might not have thought of. You start with a positive comment about the job and the company; you suggest that they might benefit by adding responsibilities to the job. You offer to share your ideas on what could be added.

“Bob, there is no question this is a great position. However, based on what you have told me, I could be even more valuable if a few correlated pieces were added. There are several areas where my experience could make a difference. I’d love to talk about them briefly, so we can see whether they could be part of the job description.”

You can then discuss whether the company might capitalize on your experience, showing with personal stories how you have made contributions before. If the interviewer agrees these are significant, have them added to the job description. Really; reshaping the job can often be just that uncomplicated! And aligned with my strong belief in non-confrontation, the manner was pleasant and straightforward.

6. Act with Unbroken Excitement

When you insert unbridled enthusiasm into your statements, it becomes nearly impossible for the employer to conclude that you should not be with them. Eagerness becomes even more important when you have been underpaid. In theory, an offer should be based on your value to the company. In reality, employers often make offers based on the candidate’s current earnings.

Balance your excitement with thorough coverage of criteria on which to base the offer. It might comprise the job’s importance to the firm, what you would make with a raise where you are, your total compensation package, what you believe your market value to be, and any other offers you’re considering. Consider the approach below and how you might invite the employer to explore the situation.

Again, there is no confrontation; no demand. There are only questions. You can actually empower the employer’s decision as to whether the offer is too low.  In the following scenario, the candidate conveys enthusiasm, sincerity and slight vulnerability. The situation is devoid of any aggression, cornering tone or cold manner.

“Bob, I want to say again how happy I am with the offer. I’m excited to join your firm, and the feeling quite honestly continues to build. I want this job! I envision a scenario of staying with the company for a long time.

There is one snag I have to push through, and I wonder if you can help me. I’ve been underpaid for a long time, and I need to begin earning at a rate reflecting my ability to contribute. If I stayed where I am, I’d be due for a raise, which would put me close to your offer.

In talking with other companies, I’ve found out that some of them appreciate this, and they have mentioned ranges that are 20 to 30 percent higher. Now, I don’t want to work for them – I want to work for you. But I do have some compelling needs. Perhaps the company could approve a higher offer. Can we explore this together?”

Negotiations can be complex or simple.  They can be apples and oranges. For some, it’s higher promised income. For others, parameters of the role and other factors weigh more heavily. If you don’t have the full success in negotiations that you hope for, then shift from the “present” and focus instead on futures: a review after six months, a better title, and an automatic increase after time. There are many things to go after that make you jump out of bed on Monday mornings.

Photo: Noortje Schmit

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