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Negotiation is Not for Me . . . . or Is It?

Should I negotiate?
      I don't know . . .
I don't think negotiation is for me!
      What do you think?
Over the years, I've heard multiple job seekers wonder if negotiation is for them.  And, over the years, I've had this conversation with multiple clients who wondered if they could actually negotiate a job offer.

If you don't try, you'll never know!
To fail to at least try to negotiate an offer upwards means you never know if you could have increased the amount of $$ or benefits you were offered.  The point is . . . If you don't try, you'll never know.   Please refer to my articles   If You Don't Negotiate . . . . . You Lose! The Initial Loss - Part 1 and If You Don't Negotiate . . . . . You Lose! The Multiplier Effect - Part 2 to learn about the reasons negotiation is in your best interest.

Knowing and Doing are 2 different things
However, understanding what is at stake if you negotiate an offer and doing it are 2 entirely different things.  The choice to negotiate is entirely up to you.

Job seekers fear the loss of the offer
Job seekers fear the loss of an offer if they attempt to negotiate.  They fear the employer will simply pull the offer back and the job seeker will be without a job.  This is not the case.  In fact, employers not only are not surprised if a candidate for a position negotiates, they expect it.   But, knowing this and engaging in negotiation are 2 different things.

Negotiation takes a bit of nerve; you really don't know what the outcome will be.  It is possible that the 2 parties in the negotiation (employer and candidate) are too far apart in their needs and wants, i.e., their requests; this could result in a decision not to hire.  That is why it is important to do your homework:  Know your worth in $$ in the marketplace, and think through your requests for additional $$ and benefits so that they are reasonable and clearly relate to the performance of the job.  Importantly, know what your own bottom line is - the line at which you will not go below, and are prepared to walk away if not met.

The decision to negotiate your offer really depends on you.  Stated in the vernacular:  Do you have the stomach for it?  Some job seekers do; some don't.  Only you can decide - and no one should decide for you.

Decision to negotiate - How to decide
  • Scenario 1:  Negotiate --  If thinking about negotiating creates a feeling of a few "butterflies" in your stomach, know that that's normal.  Every negotiator feels those butterflies.  But if you have done your homework, and you know what are acceptable salary requirements and benefits for the position, you should negotiate.
  • Scenario 2:  Don't Negotiate --  If thinking about negotiating paralyses you, creating feelings of nausea, excessive nervousness, and verbal constraints/impairment, negotiation is not for you - at least not at this time.  In this case, accept the salary as offered, and just enjoy knowing that you have won a new job in a tough employment economy.  That's an achievement in and of itself!
Negotiation is not for everyone.  Some can do it, some can't at this time, and some never choose to negotiate.  To help you make the decision of whether "Negotiation is for You," read through the helpful and informative articles on this topic in the AJC website to gain a perspective.  Talking with a knowledgeable career coach can also help you sort through the issue.  Feel free to contact us here at the AJC to help you decide whether negotiation is for you.  

For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tabs of the AJC–Career Strategy website.
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