Job Negotiation Skills

February 20th, 2019

Arjan Roovers

A while ago on a dark and rather cold Thursday evening it was time for a masterclass organised by the Formal Master Committee, a masterclass about job negotiation skills. Of course it can be hard to know what to expect at first, since there as so many aspects of negotiations, and different elements you can use. But this made sure that the masterclass was diverse in what it had to offer. 
The night was hosted by Jan Kampherbeek from the CNV (a labour union) at the Skylounge of the Erasmus Building, which provided a nice atmosphere. 
Although the masterclass started with some fairly basic information (about for example the difference between verbal and non-verbal behaviour), it also contained some very practical examples by the use of videos of for instance a performance appraisal interview. 

Eventually the most important takeaways in events like these are to link it with personal experience. Almost everyone has a job with varied working hours. Although wage negotiations are not really common, here in The Netherlands, it is nothing to be afraid of. What is key here is to prepare your arguments. A very good place to start is by analysing your own strengths and weaknesses, and to know what your special value to the organization you’re working for is. By doing that we can hopefully all get some extra money on our contracts: these Synergy-parties aren’t going to pay for themselves! Besides negotiating an extra few bucks to your contract, you could also negotiate over perks like the number of days off, remote working or perhaps a personal development budget. In other words, not all the value on the table during such negotiations is in cold hard cash.  

In negotiations, you might think of being tough and setting an ultimatum. Certainly, it is commendable to stand your ground and standing your ground could potentially yield bigger results. Yet, beware of setting an ultimatum. After all, if your demands are not met you don’t want to be the boy who cried wolf. Whenever you do choose for an ultimatum, be sure you’re willing to act on it a priori. 

At the end you want to achieve a win-win situation where the relationship is based on trust and respect. After all negotiations have a big influence on our environment. This masterclass offered a great practical view on what we’re studying from our books on a daily basis.