New Year’s Resolution: Get a Coach?

New Year’s Resolution: Get a Coach?

Last week I was contacted by a late-thirties executive who was seeking a career coach. He said he had worked previously with a coach in another state, the result of which was a move to Atlanta with a step up to a Vice President position and considerably more income. I asked him why he called me and he said he was ready to take the next step in his career. He said he had been very happy with the help he received from his last coach and wanted a local Atlanta coach to work with him in making his next step upward. I smiled … outside and inside. A common expression some coaches like to use is “Even Tiger Woods has a coach.” They say this in an attempt to wake people up to the fact that every level of performer can benefit from being professionally coached. Because many people are resistant to change, I believe that this comment tends to fall on deaf ears. Engaging a coach is an action that openly invites change. If you are like the VP who called me and are open to change, then professional coaching may be right for you. Most career seekers I speak with each week are not like my VP caller. They have gaping holes in their thinking when it comes to career planning and career changes. They want some free advice and then, upon receiving it, go along their merry way. But, if you are the exception and are interested in learning more about the benefits of coaching, then professional coaching may be right for you. Coaches seek to determine if a prospective client is “coachable.” Even if you are open to change, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are willing to do the work. It also doesn’t...
Talking Money: Job Offer Negotiations, Part 2

Talking Money: Job Offer Negotiations, Part 2

Last week a client called with the good news that they had received a good job offer from one of their most desirable employers. They were excited.  I was happy, too.  After getting beyond the (premature) celebration, my thoughts immediately turned to the next critical step in our process together: closing the deal! In my previous post (Talking Money: Job Offer Negotiations Part 1), we discussed times when you may decide to accept a job offer without negotiating.  I also suggested how to keep your negotiating options open until you receive a written job offer. In this article, let’s assume you have received a written job offer and managed to keep your options open for possible negotiations. What you need to do next is to evaluate the offer before proceeding with (or deciding not to proceed with) negotiations. Job Offer Negotiations – Evaluating the Written Offer Here is an abbreviated version of the process I use in my practice. Answer these questions… Do I have any other job offers in hand, firmly pending, or possible? Your answer to this question may color your choices regarding pursuing the current offer or turning it down without any negotiations. What are the positives and negatives of this offer? Draw a line down the middle of a blank page and make an exhaustive list of the pros and cons. What are the three to five pros and cons that are most important? This forces you to ignore the smaller items and focus on what is truly important, both positive and negative, in your negotiations. How strong or weak is my negotiating position? Your...
Talking Money: Job Offer Negotiations, Part 1

Talking Money: Job Offer Negotiations, Part 1

In my previous post (Talking Money: It’s All About the Benjamins!), we discussed general principles for compensation, when to anticipate that such discussions could crop up, and ways for handling typical questions such as “What are your compensation expectations?” That information will provide you tools for handling money discussions during most of the job interview process. Now, let’s assume you are fortunate enough to be selected as the candidate of choice and are told you will be provided a job offer.  Don’t celebrate just yet … you still must close the deal! Job Offer Negotiations – How to Close the Deal One way to close the deal is simply to accept whatever offer has been provided. There are some cases in which I would recommend this to a client. Those situations are as follows: 1. You are in an economic position where this income will save you and, otherwise, you may be in economic peril now or shortly. Remember: You are not married to this job and you can continue to look for something better. 2. There was a great deal of competition for the job (especially published/posted ones), you know they have interviewed several other qualified candidates, they have not given strong indications that they have fallen head over heels in love with you, and the compensation package seems reasonable. Remember: They have similarly qualified substitutes for you. 3. You are generally happy with the company, the boss, and the compensation package. Remember: If you fail to close this, you may be looking for quite a while longer before you get another offer. 4. You are afraid to negotiate and do not want to take...
Negotiations-Talking Money: It’s All About the Benjamins!

Negotiations-Talking Money: It’s All About the Benjamins!

OK. It’s not ALL about the Benjamins. But they are important to most of us. Money discussions and job offer negotiations have been a consistent concern in job interview seminars I have conducted over the past six years and proper handling can offer the potential to add $10,000, $25,000, or far more to a job seeker’s annual income. The contents of this blog are a general introduction to this important and complex topic. I will write more on this important subject in future posts. Negotiations 101 – Don’t Talk! First, as discussed in my book Fast Track Your Job Search (and Career!), consider the classic admonition that “He who speaks first loses.” Keep this in mind throughout your job search — and particularly once you have begun discussions with a potential employer. Speaking first may (a) lock you in to a number that sets the bar too low, thus lowering your possible income or (b) immediately eliminate you from contention due to you setting the bar too high. Negotiations 102- Be Clear, but Cautious Next, consider the following general perspectives for guidance:  If you strongly desire to move past the current step in the job interview process, no matter where you may be, then be more cautious with your responses.  If you are unsure about your interest in the position or clearly have no interest unless a certain minimum income is available, you may want to quote a specific amount (or at least a bottom level in a range) that is your firm minimum. This will better insure that you do not go through an extensive interview process, only to learn that your income desires have no chance...