In Jim Camp’s book, Start with NO…The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know, he writes:
As with pain, “budget” in my system is almost a technical term. It is much more than your normal budget, much more than an itemization of projected costs because the real price to be paid in the negotiation goes way beyond dollars and cents. Budget in the Camp System breaks down into three budgets that help us account for and control this real price in time-and-energy, money, and emotional investment. (I unite time and energy because it’s hard to spend one without spending the other as well.) The overall budget is a comprehensive, powerful tool, another means by which we can retain control in the negotiation by making certain that our investments are working for us, not against us.
Only the money budget is numerical. The other two employ a different kind of assessment, but one that we can keep up with quite accurately. My rough-and-ready formula for calculating the overall budget for a negotiation gives “time” a value of x, “energy” 2x, “money” 3x, and “emotion” 4x. Obviously, these are not empirically based numbers. They’re a way to drive home the point of relative importance. If you are spending only time and energy in a negotiation, you have a budget of 1x × 2x, for a total budget of 2x. If you start throwing real money around, your budget is 2x × 3x, or 6x. The real budget has tripled over the budget for time-and-energy alone. What happens if your emotions enter the negotiation and the equation in a powerful way? Multiply that 6x by 4x. You’re up to 24x, a large relative number that serves mainly to demonstrate how important the budget for emotion is, how dangerous emotional investment is.
The formula for calculating your job search budget is:
Budget = 1 x Time + 2 x Energy + 3 x Money + 4 x Emotion
Notice that time is the smallest piece of the budget and emotion is the largest. Most of us would instinctively say it was the opposite.
Time is a crucial piece of any job search budget. I currently have two clients who are swamped at work. Even though they are miserable in their jobs, they have not carved out time to make their job search a priority.
When you are unemployed, time is available. When you are employed, you need to create time to dedicate to finding your next job. You need to create a budget where you dedicate a few hours per week to your job search.
The days of working for the same company for many years are over. It helps to look at yourself as an independent contractor where you are always looking for that next job. You absolutely need to budget time for this effort.
If you feel low, tired, or sapped, you will not make a good impression when you meet someone in networking or an interview. Managing your energy is critical. This might mean being picky in the networking events you choose to attend or meeting people during the time of day when you are at your best.
I am a morning person. I attend a breakfast meeting every Wednesday morning at 7 AM. This is not for everyone. What is the best time of day for you to meet people?
Are you exercising? I recently had a client climb stairs before hopping on a phone interview. He felt tired, but getting some mildly aerobic exercise before the interview perked him up. This contributed to him getting to the next round of interviews.
Ah money…yes, you will need to add money to your budget. Here is a list of things you might consider when adding to your budget:
- Personal website – I will be doing a blog post next month on a new website branded.me
- Resume and LinkedIn profile assistance – You may want to get one or both spiffed up
- Career Coach – You might want to spend time with someone like myself to help you
- Lunch, coffee, or networking – Allocate a certain weekly amount to spend on these
- Transportation – This might be gas or airfare.
How much are you willing to invest emotionally in your job search? We all know the emotional letdown when we are:
- Not selected to get an interview
- Passed over in the next round of interviews
- Declined a job offer
Each time you pursue a company or position, there is a high probability you will not be selected. Remember: this is like dating and marriage; you will date a lot of people before you decide to get married. Just like in dating, it is emotionally draining when we are rejected.
The thrill of victory! The agony of defeat! I’ll bet you recognize those words almost immediately because they have become clichés in our culture, thanks to ABC’s Wide World of Sports. I still remember the ski jumper whose goggles fly off as he crashes over the side of the ski jump and the American hockey team celebrating their unbelievable victory over the Soviet squad, back in 1980 when the United States and the USSR were bitter adversaries. And when it comes to my son’s college football games, I know all about thrill and agony. For sports fans, these extreme emotions are fine. They’re mandatory for the fun. For negotiators, they’re dangerous.
Do not underestimate the need to manage your emotional budget.
Hiring Manager’s Budget
Everything I have written about in this post also applies to the hiring manager. They have a budget:
- How much time are they willing to put into the hiring process? Are they in a hurry, or can they wait?
- How much energy are they expending to make the hire happen?
- How much money are they willing to spend? Are they willing to fly you out for an interview?
- How emotionally involved are they with you? When a candidate turns down an offer, it is emotionally draining for the hiring team, as well.
You need to create—and control—your budget. You need to know their budget.
If you do both successes will follow.
Have you created a budget for your job search?
This is the 8th post in the Negotiator Job Search series.