How to Negotiate Like a Professional

If you ask a group of 50 people sitting together (pre-Covid reference obviously) how many of them consider themselves good at negotiating, hardly 1 or 2 will raise their hand. Some people are so terrified of the Negotiation process that they would rather squash their ambition rather than engage in a Negotiation. Negotiation however is an art not limited to new jobs – one needs it whilst negotiating the terms of a promotion, short-term contracts or rights/compensation over artistic endeavours be it the written word, paintings or photographed art.

The circumstantial need for Negotiations might change but the principles do not. The following Pillars of Negotiation are designed to offer you all you need to be successful:

Know Your Worth

Maureen Dowd appositely said “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for”.

The context accounts for naught when it comes to knowing your worth. Know that you have a right to negotiate, a right to expect the asking amount and a right to refuse. Utilise resources like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Indeed, your network and recruitment consultants to apprehend two things: standard compensation and skills associated with those numbers.

Assess where you think you stand in relation to the industry standard. It is best you go through this process alone as only you need to be convinced of how you represent yourself.

Pen down the many reasons why you deserve the position and amount you desire. Trust me, this will give you a much needed confidence boost and a spring to your step.

Realistic is Not Always Fair

You’ve done your research, you know what you will be inclined to accept and you most certainly know what won’t make you happy. If the “realistic” amount or position doesn’t work for you, don’t make it work for you. This thought is easily transposed on to artistic endeavours too, if one type of publisher/gallery does not appreciate your work explore other avenues. Set your sights higher and cast a wider net.

Let no one convince you that you must not strive for what you desire

As varying as the industries may be now, the skills that make them tick are mostly the same. Contrary to popular corporate belief switching industries does not reflect poorly on your resume. Your resume is a reflection of you, if you are convinced of the reasons and benefits of the switch your resume cannot suggest otherwise.

Timing is Everything

Negotiations may occur at two points in the process: before the advent of the interview/meetings process and after. In cases where the compensation band is communicated before any time is scheduled it may be a great idea to enquire whether there is space for negotiation after the process. In the event of an unfavourable response, it may be best to save your focus for other opportunities.

Where compensation is discussed at the end, as you continue to succeed through each round of interview/meetings you strengthen your position to negotiate. Latterly when you are one of the most desirable prospects, state your expectation clearly and confidently. This is usually followed by an increase in the initial offer, feel free to counter 3-4 times until you are within 10-15% of the asking amount. If faced with abject refusal, you will want to consider what the opportunity offers you. Unless faced with a unique opportunity that will catapult your career to new heights, it may not be worth the compromise.

In conclusion, as this becomes more second nature you will begin to see desirable results at all times. Keep asking, keep getting…….