Tutorials and Electives

How to Negotiate a Job Contract

Your first important negotiation in a job is the terms of your own employment as you enter the game:

Be respectful but not servile. This conversation collapses the entire process of marketing, sales, and negotiation into what may be a twenty-minute window. Make those twenty minutes count;

Have a bottom line in both the job description and the compensation, even if that line is very, very low. For instance, if you want to be a sales assistant, you may not want to take that job as a janitorial engineer, even if it meets your salary requirements. Being a file clerk, however, may lead directly to the post you want, so perhaps it should be considered. You are young now. Do not undervalue yourself and start off on the wrong career path. It’s not as easy as you think to hop onto the right one, since that track may be occupied by the guy who got there first.

Be honest about yourself—both to the potential employer and to yourself. Do not sell yourself short. But do not claim expertise in editorial services if you have a bad case of dyslexia.

If you walk away, do so without prejudice and thank them for their consideration. They may want you back for subsequent conversations if you didn’t come across as a dick.

If you accept, do so with graciousness and gratitude, and a firm determination—which is communicated—to do a fabulous job for the nice people who just hired you.

For further information on the lessons contained here, refer to The Curriculum: Everything You Need To Know To Be A Master of Business Arts.


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