A negotiation is a mutual discussion and arrangement of the terms of a transaction or agreement.
And in 2012, it doesn’t happen.
Think of some instances in the past few months where negotiations have grabbed headlines: The NFL lockout, the NFL officials lockout, and at present time, the NHL lockout. All instances where the wealthy are holding the rich at bay. Professional athletes are rich. But they don’t have the wealth that their team owners have. Take it, Chris…
The wealthy hold all the cards, guys. Do you think the owner of your corporation really cares about the fact you want $10,000 more annually? They don’t. In fact, they’re licking their chops hoping they can eliminate your aspirations and replace you with a more cost effective solution. You don’t like it? Leave. Best of luck finding something else to do with your life. You have kids? A mortgage you can barely afford? Sign on the line which is dotted or you’re putting any and all of your income at risk.
I’ve had multiple conversations with friends who are going through contract “negotiations” this week. It’s the worst. We all believe we have a certain value. For one person, it may be a specific salary. For another, it might be a job title or an office. I wish I could honestly tell them that they’ll get everything they want and more. They won’t. They’ll be disappointed and contemplate other options. And other options are fine, but extremely risky. Especially if you have mouths to feed.
Here’s a different perspective that is easy to forget. You have a job. Your foot is in the door while a line of people stand behind you with jealous rage wishing they could have your opportunity. Shelve your ego and realize that your worst day working for a company is infinitely better than someone who’s trying to regain employment. And while they may have ownership of your specific skill, they don’t own your soul. Accept the challenges presented to you daily. Spend more time looking for additional opportunity and less time dwelling on the number that you think defines you. It doesn’t.
We may just be a line item on a wealthy CEO’s spreadsheet. But you’re worth more than that number.