Landing your dream job is an exciting prospect. Once you gain the right combination of skills and training, it’s time to approach the right employer.
Negotiating for the job of your dreams requires the right mindset. Think of yourself as a skilled expert, and companies are bidding for your specialized skillsets. The following eight tips work great in winning a favorable contract for your dream job.
Research the Job Market
Focus on the idea that the employer needs your skills as much as you need the job. Approach recruiters and interviewers on an equal footing by first realizing your worth.
Start by finding out what options exist in your desired field. Are other companies hiring people with similar talents as you? Research other job descriptions for similar roles. Use your research to position yourself as an ideal candidate for the role you want. Know what skills and values employers in your field are looking for. Ensure you reflect those skills and values in your resume and job application.
For example, if your dream job is in sales, don’t merely list that you’ve taken the best sales training. Highlight why any other previous training and experience gives you transferable skills that make you a great fit for the role. Be sure to point out any valuable industry connections you may have.
Apply for Alternative Positions
Your dream job may be available in more than one company. Apply to positions in other companies that fit the bill. There is power in having alternative job prospects and offers.
If you succeed in receiving many offers, you will be less likely to act desperate and jump to accept the first offer. Having alternatives lined up makes it easier to consider your options and reject what doesn’t appeal to you.
If you go in without alternatives, you may feel the pressure and accept a low-ball offer to secure the job. Once hired, you may harbor regrets and lose focus, as you keep looking for your next dream job.
In negotiations, having the best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) provides leverage. For instance, you can mention to your interviewer that company B is making a better salary offer, while company C offers better perks. Appearing in demand can increase your value in the employer’s eyes. If the employer needs your skills, the employer may, at the very least, try to match competing offers.
Negotiate for Mutual Benefits
Negotiation is rarely a winner versus loser competition. Meaningful employment, being a long-term relationship, works better when the contract offers mutual benefits. The employer gains from your service while you enjoy the salary, perks, and great experience in the job of your dreams.
When negotiating the job contract, offer insights into how your service can provide value over and above other candidates. For example, maybe your experience in the industry brings in high-value sales connections. Perhaps your specialized training is a level above what most other candidates studied.
Find Motivation in More than Money
Often, your dream job attracts you for more than the earning potential. Maybe it’s in a field you’re passionate about. Perhaps the attraction lies in the job letting you work toward making the world a better place. Whatever motivates you, make your passion for the job clear to your prospective employer.
Employers like to see passionate and motivated employees. When your motivation goes beyond money, it sends a clear message that you will go over and above your call of duty in the role. Motivation shows you are a go-getter who needs little supervision to perform well.
Motivation beyond money applies even in how you perform your duties. For instance, a sales rep motivated by money will usually seek a hard sell for one-off sales. In contrast, a rep motivated by long-term performance focuses on building relationships with buyers who may deliver more long-term value.
Managers will likely be looking for a self-motivated employee who gels well with their existing team. Self-motivated employees often bring in new energy and innovative ideas that can improve existing systems. Position yourself as the self-driven candidate, and the employer may be more inclined to improve their contract offer.
Understand Employer Values
Your dream job works best if the company values align with your values. Company values inform the company’s culture and internal decision-making. The company’s culture holds employees and managers accountable and reflects the company’s image outside the organization.
During negotiations, show that you understand the company’s values. Understanding the company’s vision, mission, and values guides employees to achieve the company’s goals. Ultimately, no matter how skilled you are, the company wants to work with someone who understands the company’s purpose and can achieve set goals.
Also, you are less likely to leave if the company’s values align with your moral direction. The company is most likely seeking a candidate they can retain and retrain, rather than one who will continuously object to the guidelines or leave the company.
Prepare for Possible Objections
The job interview is a negotiation platform. The employer wants to ensure the candidate being interviewed fits the role. At the same time, the employer wants to maximize the value they receive on acquiring your talents. It’s not so much about limiting how much the employer spends, but getting the most out of the expenditure.
As such, the interviewer may raise objections on your salary and perk expectations. Prepare for possible objections by conducting research to back up your requests. Sales negotiation training can guide a candidate in finding ways to justify job reward expectations and offer an agreeable value exchange.
For instance, you may want tenure, but the employer insists on a limited-time contract. Showing how you have delivered long-term value to a previous employer could persuade your prospective employer to offer a longer-term contract.
Some other common objections and possible responses include:
- Skills and experience: If you lack work experience, demonstrating your specialized knowledge may make up for it.
- Vacation: You may justify more extended vacations by picking off-peak seasons when the employer least needs your input.
- Salary: Compare your salary expectation with industry standards for the position and present these figures to the employer. The same goes for perks such as 401(k) contributions and retirement benefits.
- Signing bonuses: Leaving your current job or leaving other job offers can be a painful process. Let the employer know a signing bonus can make the move easier and less stressful.
- Stock options: Point out that instead of higher pay, a stock option can increase your motivation and loyalty to the company without hurting sales or profits. A win-win solution.
Keep the Door Open
Negotiation is about relationship-building. You may not arrive at an agreement this time, but you may cross paths with the company again in your career. Take care not to burn bridges, even if the prospective employer makes a hard stand on terms you may not agree with.
Remain positive and show interest in the company’s plans, even if you end up taking another job. If the employer wants to hire you but can’t meet your terms, be honest about why you have taken the other job, but let the employer know you would be open to future opportunities. Your positivity is an asset, making recruiters and managers more likely to remember you and perhaps also offer you a role with improved terms.
If you lose your enthusiasm upon rejection, it may signal you as a less attractive investment. The company may not feel as positive about considering you for future engagement. Think beyond today’s offer and keep doors open for future possibilities.
When negotiating your employee contract, focus on value exchange. While you shouldn’t accept less than your value, it pays to not take a hard stance on each contract term either.
Find a balance between your needs and the company’s needs. For example, if the number you ask for is high, then quoting an absolute number may kill negotiations. Quoting a range instead provides you and the employee wiggle room for more value exchange.
However, even as you present yourself as being flexible, don’t provide concessions without gaining extra value. Remember, it’s a value exchange. For example, you may quote a salary range. The employer may make a counteroffer based on the low end of your salary range. You can negotiate to accept the low figure if the company increases your paid leave days.
Flexibility during negotiations shows that you are not greedy. Flexible people tend to be nice to work with, while a hard stance may signal that you’re difficult to work with.
Negotiating Your Next Job Offer
Negotiation may seem daunting, but you never know what more you can get unless you are proactive. Focus on value exchange to guide your negotiations. The interview is the beginning of an employer-employee relationship that may last the rest of your career.
With some sales negotiation training, you can hone your skills to prepare for your next job offer. The negotiation process starts with research. Know your industry and your job requirements. Know the company culture of your prospective employers and apply it to those companies that fit your needs. If you have many offers, you stand a better chance of securing a favorable employment contract.
Be flexible and keep the door open. Whether or not you get the job this time, negotiations now may set the pace for any future engagements with the employer.