By Ann Vanino

After being offered a position, many people enter a twilight zone, of their own making, and neglect to insist on an employment agreement that serves their interests. This twilight zone can be created when your mind is focused on the future, fantasizing about this wonderful job, the great opportunities it provides, or the riches it will bring you. You are not thinking about the realities of the job and have blinders on when it comes to ensuring that your own interests are addressed. Here are some things you can do to develop the skills needed to negotiate a winning employment agreement.

Spend Time Thinking Out What You Want

Preparation makes all the difference in negotiating a winning employment agreement. Here are some things to consider prior to your negotiation session:

  • How will your compensation be determined? Do they have a structured process? Will you have a salary, bonus, or profit sharing?
  • What benefits does the employer provide? Do they provide health insurance, pension, disability, or other benefits? Do they pay the full premium or is it shared? What are the details of each benefit plan?
  • What vacation and sick time is offered? How is it accrued?
  • If applicable, how are expenses reimbursed? In what time frame?
  • What are the “perks” of the position? For example, signing bonus, marketing account, credit card, car allowance. Do you want to request any additional perks?
  • What is your specific role in the organization? What is your title? What are your duties? Request a written job description.
  • How will your performance be measured? When will your performance and salary review take place? Who will do it?
  • Where do you see yourself long-term at the organization? How does that influence your negotiation?

Be Fully Present To The Task At Hand

To negotiate effectively, you must bring yourself fully into the present moment and prepare to negotiate. First, lay out what is before you. Who are the players in the negotiation? What are their interests and desired outcomes? What do you want from this negotiation? What are the possible points of contention and how will you handle them? What is the “bottom line” offer you are willing to accept? Look realistically at “who you are” going into this negotiation. How do you want to present yourself? Will you be aggressive, compliant, reasonable, contentious, or shrewd? Are you willing to walk away if you do not get what you want? Following these steps will allow you to walk into the negotiation clear on who you are and what you want the outcome to be.

Use A Full Spectrum of Negotiating Skills

Get smart about negotiating. Read books on negotiating skills. Talk with friends who have experience in negotiating an employment agreement. Ask them about what they have learned. Imagine yourself in the room negotiating your agreement. Visualize possible scenarios. How will you handle each of them? What will be your strategy to get the best agreement possible? Developing effective negotiation skills is a life-long process. Tailor skills to the specific situation. Learn from every experience to get better and better.

Business is negotiation. Get what you want. Protect your interests. Move forward. Fine-tuned negotiating skills will get you where you want to go.
©Copyright 2001 – 2019 by Ann E. Vanino
All rights reserved in all media.