Career Negotiations: Meaning, Techniques & Tactics
Siddhant has been working as a full-time employee at his organization for several years now. His managers describe him as…
June 10, 2021 | 4 mins read
Siddhant has been working as a full-time employee at his organization for several years now. His managers describe him as a punctual and dedicated employee. However, he recently became a father and it has become difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Unable to meet his project deadlines, Siddhant decided to shift to a part-time role.
Like Siddhant, our priorities and responsibilities in life are ever-changing. The key to making room for changing needs and expectations is career negotiation. What is it? Let’s find out!
People often think that the phrase career negotiations refers to bargaining with hiring managers over salary packages and benefits. Although reaching an agreement about your remuneration is important, there is so much more to career negotiations. It includes various aspects such as:
Negotiating your role— the scope of work and opportunities for development
Negotiating your workload—your responsibilities, location and travel requirements
Negotiating your way through work-life balance
As a career negotiator, you should be able to reach a middle-ground that provides mutually beneficial solutions for everyone involved. Joint problem-solving and compromise are some of the basic tenets of a successful negotiation.
An effective career negotiator not only thinks about what to negotiate but also how. It means keeping an eye on the bigger picture and ensuring that you’re negotiating with the right person over the right issues. Even the slightest misunderstanding can derail your requests or proposals and make it difficult for you to put your foot down.
A career negotiator is often focused on low-hanging fruits, that is, immediate opportunities than long-term goals that may or may not be fulfilled. You may start off with one opportunity but as you progress in your career, you may want to try for a different type of opportunity. It’s completely fine to have shifting priorities over the span of a career, as long as you’re clear about what you ultimately want. Here are some simple yet effective negotiation techniques that’ll help you become an effective career negotiator:
The first step is to identify and think deeply about both short-term and long-term goals in your career. You may want to map your journey by stating your objectives in the beginning and creating milestones that’ll help you measure progress. Imagine the quality of life you aspire to achieve. Long-term thinking often pays off.
There are three major types of career negotiations. In the ‘asking’ type, you request something that’s standard for anyone in your role or position. In the ‘bending’ type, you request a personal exception that’s not aligned with organizational norms and standards. In the ‘shaping’ type, you propose ways to change the work environment or work toward a new initiative. Depending on the situation and type of negotiation needed, you’ll have to vary your approach.
Always go in prepared during a negotiation. Understand what you’re negotiating for, how you’ll execute the process and the people involved. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to reduce ambiguity:
What is potentially negotiable?
How should I negotiate?
Who will be my counterparts and what are their priorities?
If you wish to research, collect information and build a strong case for negotiation, make sure you have the broadest sources of information. Relying on immediate friends or professional circles isn’t the best option as information may be biased. Stretch out your inquiry and make a persuasive case!
Additionally, if you want to improve your negotiation skills, here are some negotiation tactics that’ll help you improve your effectiveness:
Active listening is one of the most important negotiation tactics. The more information you have, the stronger your case will be.
Take notes during your discussion as it helps recall important aspects of the exchange
Take time to consider offers. You don’t always have to provide an immediate response. Take your time to reflect and come back with a decision later.
These negotiation strategies and tactics will help you power through negotiations and focus on the bigger picture. It’s time to demand more for your career!
Organizations across the globe have changed the way they conduct business of late. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced them into the ‘new normal’ of remote work and virtual exchanges. As workplaces continue to adopt new methods, it’s time that you think about career negotiation techniques seriously.
Employees everywhere are changing the way they work. From shifting to work-from-anywhere arrangements to responding to new priorities, they are finding ways to contribute and collaborate. It’s evident that transformations in our work life are closely related to transformations in our personal lives. It’s time to rethink work hours, caregiving demands and relocation decisions as everyone continues to adjust to this new world of work.
Harappa’s Negotiating Wisely course is specially designed for ambitious professionals who want to become champions of persuasion and influence. The Dual Concern Model will help you navigate the different methods of negotiation. The Negotiation Canvas framework will equip you with execution plans for win-win negotiations. Try Harappa today and maximize your gains in negotiations!