In negotiations like your job search, you should assume nothing.
This is the 7th post in the Negotiator Job Search series.
The rest of the series can be found here.
In Jim Camp’s book, Start with NO…The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know, he writes:
Now, what about assumptions, the other chief obstacle to effective blank slating? They’re just as dangerous as positive and negative expectations, and just as common because most of us come to believe that we’re pretty good at reading other people, at understanding what they’re really feeling and thinking. Negotiators, in particular, tend to pride themselves on their people skills. A thousand times I’ve heard someone say:
“I know what they’ll do if we make that offer.”
“This is the way they operate.”
“If you raise the price, they’ll want a volume discount.”
“I’m pretty sure she makes the decisions over there.”
“There’s no way they’ll make an offer today.”
You have probably had similar thoughts as it relates to your job search.
“When they make me an offer, it will be taken or leave it.”
” If I make a counter offer, they will walk away.”
“If I don’t immediately accept the offer, they will walk away.”
These kinds of assumptions can get you into trouble. Remember to assume nothing.
When I headed off to teach high school math, I assumed that high schools would want me. I was an engineer with significant training and experience. I had taught for over 20 years in close to 40 different countries. There was a shortage of math teachers. Of course, they would want me!
Boy, was I wrong! Schools want highly compliant people. I was a male and over 40 years of age. A demographic that is not typically considered to be compliant. It was very difficult to even get interviews.
I had a client who was offered a position in the headquarters of a major retailer. He assumed that vacation and health insurance would be included. Before he signed anything, I insisted he go through the offer carefully. Two items popped out:
- Company health insurance did not start until being employed for six months
- Paid Time Off (PTO) was not accrued until six months of employment
It would have been easy to assume that both of these benefits were not negotiable. That would be a bad assumption.
For more: (Assumptions – How They Create Career Sinkholes)
You need to do your research. Through our research, we found an HR professional who had left the company. She informed us that the company had a policy that, if asked, they would pay the employee’s COBRA payment until the company health insurance was available. Also, the company would fill the PTO account with a negotiated amount of days on the first day of employment.
Research is key.
You will need to reach out to current and former employees of the business. Ask them about the hiring process. Ask them what they wish they knew before they were hired.
Carefully research the company on the Internet including websites like Glassdoor.com.
For more: (How to check out a company before….)
Remember to assume nothing in the job search process.Marc Miller
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