Everything in life is a negotiation.
The catch is, negotiation doesn’t always boil down to a simple black and white situation, or good versus bad.
Something has become very evident this year is that negotiation isn’t just about better pay. It’s also coming down to workplace flexibility, health and wellness benefits, and how rigid (or not) the employer might be.
If 2020 taught us nothing else, it’s that time is precious and finite.
And as we see more and more articles about “The Great Resignation” – why companies are bleeding out their employees at record rates, I would argue that knowing how to negotiate for yourself, your position, and your priorities is more important than ever before.
“For almost everyone,” says Ross Seychell, chief people officer at Personio, “the pandemic put an acute focus on… how has this company I’ve given a lot to handled me or my health or happiness during this time?” Seychell says many workers considering that question are finding a lack of satisfying answers. “I’m hearing it a lot: ‘I’m going to go somewhere I’m valued’.” (source)
The power of negotiation is a skill that each and every one of us should master. Not only are these negotiation tips powerful, but they’ll help you to also define and have a handle on your own personal brand’s worth moving forward.
Negotiation Tips #1: Know Your Value
When you know your value, you can negotiate from a position of strength and therefore can get your value over time. Too often, we don’t realize that we are selling ourselves short.
Keep this stat in mind as you are working through what your value may be, “Employers project average annual salary increases of 3% for executives, management, professional employees and support staff in 2022, a survey by benefits consulting firm Willis Towers Watson found.” (source)
Selling yourself short doesn’t always equate to salary. How much of your time and/or mental health is being consumed? Are you giving too much of yourself, or your life away in your current position?
One of the biggest barriers when negotiating for your value is allowing those negative thoughts or concepts to creep into your head, questioning what you’re really worth. Dismiss them, and don’t let them in. These compromise the chance of increasing the value of your personal brand before you even start the negotiation process. Have confidence around your worth, and the value reflected will follow.
Negotiation Tips #2: Start The Negotiation In Your Head
With all negotiation comes compromise… So it’s important to know going into these conversations, what are your absolute nonnegotiables? A few examples of what your nonnegotiables might be include:
- Baseline salary
- Expected hours
- Working remotely or in-office
- Additional benefits
I see far too many women settling for less than what they truly want, or deserve. And this isn’t just in the case of a job… this can translate across life, into relationships, even friendships. I’ll never forget the time in life when I felt like my title was officially ‘bridesmaid’ – I was in about 11 weddings total. In my 5th wedding of the year, the groom gave me some advice that was simple, but stuck with me:
Don’t settle, don’t settle, don’t settle.
You’re worth more than you realize. Think this through ahead of time, start the negotiation in your head, and know exactly where, and where you are not willing to waiver. You’ll walk into the situation much more prepared.
The vast majority don’t negotiate and are afraid to negotiate, but a single $5,000 raise early in their career can turn into hundreds of thousands of dollars,” – Ramit Sethi
Negotiation Tips #3: What Are You Bringing To The Table?
When building your case, it’s equally as important to know what you are willing to settle for, as well as what your personal brand will bring to the table. Your next level of profitability is connected to your risk.
In negotiations, express how you will show up and execute at a new level. What value are you adding to the team, or to your position? Be sure to demonstrate your accomplishments and elaborate on recent achievements. It can feel awkward in the moment, but it’s essential when it comes to negotiating.
Another concept to keep in mind when approaching negotiations is to have a good grasp on where your company currently stands; how are they doing financially, and how is it performing as a whole? Getting the timing right around this can be key.
How To Negotiate Effectively: Final Thoughts
2021 completely disrupted the way that the workforce looks and operates, giving employees more negotiating power that ever before. Keep the three negotiation tips above in mind, and start preparing yourself to negotiate your next level.
If you’re still feeling unsure, or on the fence about if you’re ready to negotiate and advocate for your personal brand… take this statistic into consideration:
“When there’s a lot of people moving, that costs companies in terms of turnover and lost productivity… “It takes six to nine months to onboard someone to be fully effective. Companies that lose a lot of their workforce are going to struggle with this over the next 12 to 16 months, and maybe much longer. Companies that don’t invest in their people will fall behind.”
Smart companies don’t want to lose good employees. Sit down, take the time to map out your value, your nonnegotiables, and what you can uniquely bring to the table for your company moving forward. Of course, like all things in life, you might end up with a ‘no.’ But what do you have to lose?
If nothing else, the process of negotiating for yourself can be eye-opening, and just might help you realize that your job or position isn’t quite the right fit after all.
At the end of the day, putting the time in to improve the value of your personal brand will pay dividends in the long run. You’re worth more than just settling.