Culture

Negotiation: June Bug Graphics

I learned that I went in setting my sites too low for what I could get in monetary compensation. I realized after we started talking about money that he had no problems with what I had thought was the best I could get – that made me suspicious and I got more. However, I didn’t realize just how much more that I could have gotten still. Overall I think that it was a good end result as he could really commit that money right then (no funky wait-and-see deals) and I got to work from home – but I was floored to find out that he could have paid me up to $160k.

On that note, little details make a big difference. I, like others in the class, didn’t realize that my salary was based on approximately 20 hours part time a week. It seems others thought that I (Carla) was paid hourly. This makes a difference in going into negotiation, but I don’t think it’s a big deal because in a ‘real live’ negotiation you’d not have a question about how many hours you work and how you are paid. It does ping up the point however, that you should make sure you clarify what are the understood facts because parties may think they agree while they both have completely different understandings of what is being discussed.

I completely missed the connection when you said that we should come to class prepared to talk about a tough interaction so we could practice interviewing and being inquisitive and that we should practice that in this negotiation. It would have been helpful to stop and ask more questions in the beginning. I also realized that power comes from the person ‘in-the-know”. Because I was too busy thinking about what I wanted to get out of the negotiation I had forgotten that the conversation was because Michael wanted me to work more hours and THAT should have prompted me to ask more questions about why, how many (where we would have discovered the discrepancy in how many I currently thought I worked) and so forth. But instead, I jumped straight from him wanting me to work more hours to ‘arguing’ that this was impossible without a (serious) pay increase. In the end, I doubled my hours and doubled my pay + 10k. I also was given 20 hours to work from home per week (so I could be with my daughter and not put her in daycare/get a nanny).  However, if I had asked questions (and maintained the position of power… remembering he wants something from me, first) I might have realized that he more than wanted me for more hours… that I was crucial in his getting that contract. This would have been observed in non-verbal communication and body language. That would have given me a wider range of possibilities in the negotiation.

To conclude, however, I feel like I got what I wanted. A good salary while working from home, benefits (useful while I still work there for the duration), and a review for bonus in 3 months (because I felt there might be something up his sleeve, a windfall of incoming money for instance). Those were all things that I wanted, and that made my life enjoyable. I also feel like I could leave with a good recommendation, and would be open to additional options concerning working from home full-time and even higher salary when I announced leaving for my second child.

Incidentally, at the end of the negotiation after we were done and out of character, I asked my partner what ‘cards’ he was holding, and it was fun when the secret that ‘I was pregnant’ garnered more shock in reaction than I was surprised by his secret. His jaw dropped and his eyes popped open.

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