Promotion Negotiations, part 2

In basic negotiations, we saw how a job offer is structured. Depending on the offer, you may have reservations or believe you can do better. To negotiate effectively, you have to have a good basis for negotiation. This can be either your professional credentials, or your professional status.

This piece is based on reasonable offers and negotiations, not fiction. In the real world, negotiations are all business, often with legal issues attached.

This can be very tricky, and you do need to know how to negotiate effectively.

Basic rules of negotiations

Negotiation is a personal thing. The rules are all in your own interests:

  • Always check your facts and figures.
  • Always be sure your own position is reasonable.
  • Always listen carefully to the other side's offers.
  • Always read all documentation and understand it properly.
  • Always have a compromise plan if negotiations stall.
  • Always negotiate in writing.
  • Never get into a confrontational position when negotiating.
  • Never get emotional.
  • Never make mistakes in your own figures or statements.
  • Never refuse to consider any bona fide proposal.
  • Never be negative.
  • Never do anything on the basis of verbal agreements.
  • Never simply assume you understand the legal issues, because you usually won't. Get advice, particularly if there's a contract involved.

Making decisions about job promotion offers

The best way to handle any form of negotiation is by working to definite targets. You know what the job involves, and probably the package received by the previous job holder. You should also know what's doable. Use that information as the basis for your proposals.

The simplest way to deal with a promotion offer is:

You decide what your requirements are.You compare the offer from the employer.If the employer's offer is below your target, you negotiate.

The negotiation process

The process is pretty straightforward.

Step 1 - An offer is made in a series of points, a counter offer is given in response, addressing each point necessary. The counter offer must be reasonable, and within a working budget.

Step 2 - The counterproposal is either accepted, rejected, or a further proposal is made with variations on the offer or counter offer.

Step 3 - This can happen several times, and this stage is where negotiation gets tricky, and sometimes frustrating.

Important: This point is also where you can blow the whole deal. You're trying to stay out of a 'take it or leave it' situation. Most employers will only go so far in negotiations. To work, negotiations have to be flexible, and decisions are required from you. The employer can pull the plug on negotiations, and many do. Stretching out negotiations doesn't help either party, in fact it may be counterproductive for both.

Decision time:

Ask yourself:

  • Is the offer acceptable in general?
  • Is the position a good career position?
  • Are the sticking points important, or minor?
  • Is there anything which is really unacceptable?
  • Does accepting the offer come with any strings attached?

OK so far? In the next part in this series, we'll deal with handling the problems in negotiations.