One of the most difficult, yet absolutely required activities in every job search situation, existing, new or re-entry, is to establish your value so that you can negotiate the best offer and then later to then come to terms on a package that also reflects current company policy requirements and needs, market realities, and your needs and desires. It is imperative that you remember that the five countervailing components to any final offer letter, are present in all transition (hiring) negotiation situations.

You need to realize the complexity of the hiring process. As it is not easy to push a stone up a hill, it is also not easy to get the job you want at the compensation and benefits you want without being perceived as an asset and not a liability to any company or government entity today. Let the PMSP natural system work for you. The requirements are so basic, they are often taken for granted. It is incumbent on every candidate that they continually focus on the 5 needs of every transition situation.

“get Prepared”

“get Noticed”

“get Interviewed”

“get THAT NEXT job!”

“get that first paycheck”

Another often forgotten aspect of negotiation is the necessity to predetermine your 3 compensation and benefits numbers that are listed below:

“nice to have #”

“need to have #”

“what you will settle for #”

As a matter of fact, each of my candidates must choose these at the beginning of the process, write them on small slip of paper and put that slip of paper in your wallet or purse. (Check PayScale,, or ClearanceJobs Salary Survey)

From the candidate’s perspective there are five components to any Job Offer; Base, Bonus, Benefits, Job Requirements and Training. Further amongst the benefits are: Vacation, Health, Dental, Advanced Educational options and Additional Compensation (401k, etc); amongst the Job Requirements are: Job Duties, Certifications/Licensure, Responsibilities, Title, Travel and Time Commitment.

Contrary to public opinion, YOU have the key to negotiating a great deal for yourself, the question really is – “Are you willing to do the work to “get THAT NEXT job’s” best compensation package?”. Your ability to negotiate the best package actual starts long before you contact any company, recruiter, hiring authority or networking source. As you have noticed our system requires a heavy period of introspection where you chronicle your ACP (Accomplishments, Competencies, and Potentials), and reconcile them with market realities. You need to know where you have been, who you are now and what your potentials could be and where and why you FIT.

Secondly, you must determine and research your market space, target companies, and know each target company as if your future depended on it. IT DOES!

Thirdly, you must know your potential hiring manager, their history/track record, their management philosophy and especially their personality. The web offers a feast of information on who people are, where they came from and where they are going. (Use Google Alerts)

Lastly, you must know and be able to demonstrate how you “fit” and why you are an ROI. Your V=N+A-C and S.A.L.E.S. presentations must be honed to a razor’s edge. (See: Your talking points and accomplishments must be demonstrated only in the light of the market, company and hiring authorities needs, desires and goals.

As we have stated before, if you don’t know why you are there neither will the hiring authority. If you don’t know their space, their competition, some of their client base in today’s market place you will not be able to negotiate a program acceptable to you, the hiring manager and the hiring company.

True negotiations do not start at the first handshake and introduction; but it is your “first” contact. Your goal must be to reduce the hiring authority’s and company’s risk at all times. Your reward of hire is to reduce the Hiring Authority’s stress, make them more money or get them noticed by their company’s management for hiring the “best” available talent.

Once you have established your value and have allowed your “clients” to tell you why you are there, and how you fit, it is reasonable to expect the Hiring Manager to begin to establish a mental and emotional value for you and your possible contribution. That first Paradigm Question is: “What about my background; made you talk to me today?” This question has the impact of turning a candidacy into a value proposition for the Hiring Authority. The fact that the Hiring Authority is forced to do one of three things with that question is a real asset to you. He/she must tell you why you are there, or tell they do not know; or tell you that they have their own questions they must cover first before you can ask any questions. This question allows you to discern whether they are interested and knowledgeable about your candidacy, or were they too busy or did not care enough to prepare for your interview. It can also illustrate their management style, are they too rigid in their approach to any situation that they will not allow any deviation. Each approach speaks volumes about the Hiring Authority, company management, and what they would be like to work for in the future. As we said above, your Creative Presentation Documents and your preparation for the interview pre-determines your success in receiving the hiring agreement that you seek.

Since, the first live interview is actually possibly your 4th or 5th contact with this hiring manager, your Creative Presentation Documents and preparation will set the tone for all your discussions. Your preparation can separate you from the “Herd to be Heard” and then to be hired in a company that fits you.

Now that your credentials and contributions have been established; it is much easier to realize both the company’s and your goals. Your ROI must be determined prior to ever phoning the Hiring Authority or setting foot in their offices.

Your impact is pre-ordained, to debunk another popular myth that chemistry with a Hiring Manager can never be altered. Truth is you that can change or alter chemistry.

Please remember, the admonition that you do not fall into the trap, sometimes purposely laid, of conversation vs. presentation, of “solution sales call” vs. a social visit. Aggressiveness, that is not abrasive, can indeed be your validation. The interview is your audition for the road company to the client’s play. It is your demonstration of how you will act when you are by yourself in the “field.” All three tenses are always on in every interview situation, your past (ACP+CIP), your present and the Hiring Authority’s future. The HA/HR’s interview riskometer is set to evaluate your present presentation to your future work when you when you represent him/her.

You must EARN that offer. If you do, then negotiating is made much simpler because it is in the Hiring Authority’s best interest to have you join him and not the competition.

In your audition; that cluster of real preparation, positive attitude, carriage, enthusiasm, drive, assertiveness, and “performance” will determine the offer and negotiation status more than your “credentials” or actual experiences.

More opportunities have been lost because of the lack of preparation than to chemistry, culture, education or titles allegedly held. Close and when you do; close again, and then again in your written follow-up to all phone screens or face-to-face interviews.

“If you are in transition, as a candidate, your potential employer cannot fire you for being aggressive, but they definitely will not hire you unless you are aggressive.” BSD (Please see our book and website)

“Tasks are normally dismissed, measurable accomplishments are always recognized!”

To read more, please see the Aug and Sept articles on this site. For more information please visit our website. – “Move from the Herd to be Heard” in today’s job market place.

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