It’s nearly that time, the time of entering the big bad world of work and as it draws upon me I need to take charge of my future and be prepared for upcoming job interviews. The sheer thought frightens me, as I know I can often be too polite and obliging, when really I should learn to speak up for myself more, however, I also recognise that in order to secure my dream job I have to be calm, confident and learn the important tool of negotiation.
‘Negotiation is an interpersonal decision-making process necessary whenever we cannot achieve our objective single-handedly.’
Thompson (2005 p.2)
Now, I’m not saying it will be easy, but by following Robbins (2005) five step process it helps to break down the different stages of negotiation, so you can tick each one off as you go through the process and hopefully get that bit closer to securing your dream job.
The Negotiation Process
1. Preparation and Planning
2. Definition of ground rules
3. Clarification and justification
4. Bargaining and problem solving
5. Closure and implementation
The first and most crucial step is ‘Preparation and Planning.’ REMEMEBER: failing to prepare is preparing to fail! Before you attend the interview you need to work out precisely what you want to achieve, what your objectives are for the interview – perhaps you could create a checklist of your preferred needs such as salary package or working hours.
To help with such preferences this is when you’re BATNA ‘best alternative to a negotiated agreement’ comes in to play. It’s all about compromise, you can’t just demand the employer satisfies all of your needs and requests; you need to propose an offer that is also within their BATNA so both can feel content.
You need to then define your ‘Ground Rules’ so both parties can exchange and discuss initial proposals, this helps to shape the role you may be offered in the company.. The next step is ‘Clarification and Justification’. Remember, there are potentially hundreds of applicants fighting for this job so what makes you different? Justify WHY YOU? Prove to them why they NEED to employ you. Explain your skills and mention relevant work experience or contacts that demonstrate why YOU are the best person for this role.
Next on the checklist is., ‘ Bargaining and Problem Solving.’ This step is the ‘give and take.’ If you are offered a lower salary than you expected, but it is a job which has future prospects and you know you will enjoy working there, then negotiation is the key. If you accept the job you can always ask for a salary review in the upcoming year and prove to them why you have earned the right to a higher wage.
And finally, ‘Closure and Implementation.’ In other words the formalizing of the agreement. Once you have accepted the job offer ensure the essential negotiations agreed are written in a formal contract.
Now you can RELAX. it’s simple really, be confident and be clear on your needs beforehand. . Negotiation is a vital skill to help you develop your future, so enjoy it and achieve the best possible outcome for yourself and your employer.
Do you think you can do it? Has negotiation ever worked for you in a certain situation?