OK friends, I’m positioned as the career advice blogger here at Halogen, so let me break down a reality that all of you need to understand:
If you don't negotiate a better career for yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.
Actually, I'd love to be your career agent. For 1 percent of your annual salary (just base, I won't even touch any bonus or commission — I'm a giver), I'll be on call and be your personal agent for all things career-related. I'll help you understand the best way to approach the big meeting, to build a portfolio of work that makes you more valuable over time, give you counseling when you need it and, of course...
...I'll help you negotiate the deals that you do for you.
You're really bad at this last one. You don't negotiate hard enough for yourself, so it makes sense for me to do it for you. If I can't double the 1 percent you spend on me, then you need to fire me after the first year. But you have to give me a year to give you return on investment on the 1 percent. And I bill up front.
I get it. You were excited at the prospect of having a career agent on call, but then you cooled when you found out the 1 percent was billed up front.
It's OK. I care so much about helping you build a better career, I'm going to give you some of my playbook — the same techniques I would use if I was negotiating anything on your behalf. Use these techniques and win early and often in everything career-related.
These techniques can be used in the following areas of your career and more:
- negotiating money/compensation
- reaching agreement about quality of work expected
- setting deadlines for work projects
- securing the resources you need to be successful
5 techniques to negotiate your way to a better career
On to the list. Want to win in the areas above and more? Use the following five negotiation techniques, my friend:
1. Get your number/need on the table first in any negotiation. Don't wait for someone else to set the position from which the negotiation proceeds. If you give your number first, people have to negotiate against that number/position. Advantage: You.
2. Once both sides have established a position, the next person who talks loses. If no one has established a position, you talk first. But, if both parties have staked out a claim, you need to learn to shut up. The next person who talks is likely to give ground in a way that advantages the person remaining silent.
3. If you're asking for resources, ask for the gold package. Because the mid-range solution you really want is going to seem pretty affordable compared to the gold-plated standard. Win by presenting the gold and silver options, tell them you want gold and get silver or bronze resources — that's more than you had at the start of the conversation/negotiation.
4. Cut through the BS when someone is non-committal by asking for a probability. Easy but crazy effective. Someone is shrugging you off and not giving you what you need. Respond to that by asking them for a probability on an event that, if broadcasted internally, would make them look bad. Example — "What's the probability if you take action on this without following my guidance that you're going to get sued?"
Translation: There is a probability, and any chance of getting sued is bad, so you just earned leverage for them to take the course of action you're recommending. If they don't respond or say "0 percent", you can give them your view, which provides the same leverage.
5. Threaten to bring a third party in to mediate. Nuclear option, but effective in most organizations. You're having some form of negotiation and you don't think you're getting what you need. You threaten to escalate (think about combining with #4), and however veiled that threat is, you can gain leverage since most people don't want to bring their boss in because it might imply they can't handle their own business.
When you look at these negotiation techniques for your career, #1, #2 and #3 are the freshman-level class. #4 and #5 are more senior-level, since you can hurt yourself if the technique is not delivered correctly.
Use these techniques and build a better career over time. Or you can hire me to do it for you. Just send the 1 percent of your salary to my PayPal account.