Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Negotiation--advice and role-playing exercises

Roseanne Ecker, Director of Career Services at SU.    If you've been offered a job, should I ask for more salary than they offer?  Yes!  Isn't that rude?  Well, you should remember that EVERY raise and bonus that you receive will be calculated as a percentage of your salary.  If you start at less than you could, the cumulative loss over your career there--adds up mighty quick.  And if there happens to be a freeze on raises (as happened to one of the audience members), you will be stuck at that too low rate.  What if they can't provide more?  This is always a possibility, but if you don't ask, you won't ever know.  Also consider if there are other things that can help you do what it is that you are being hired to do.  Training?  Equipment?  Lab space?  Assistants?  Computers and software?  If they cannot provide you with your own, will you have adequate access to existing lab spaces, vehicles, and help to carry out experiments or teach the bazillion lab sections you are expected to offer?  It may be that you don't want more money, but for personal reasons (commuting costs a fortune, the need for eldercare is on the rise) you need flexibility in your schedule (set own hours, or the ability to work from home a few days a week...if you provide a convincing argument why this can help them meet their goals (rather than just reduce your commuting costs--although reducing gas usage is a great societal goal, it many not  be in their business plan at this point in time), you are more likely to be in a position to receive these amenities.  And when it works, they will have gained your expertise and loyalty, eliminating their need to conduct another search, train a replacement, and the time costs of bringing said person up to speed--all costly propositions (especially if they continue to botch their efforts to set up employees to succeed, and have to do it all over again).

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