Thursday, December 07, 2006

I need negotiating skills

I got a call today about the new job. It's an okay offer - more than I'm getting now but not a "jump-up-and-down-singing-hallelujah" offer. Anyway, it's complicated because the person offering me the job (let's call him W) is an ex-colleague of mine and we were on very friendy terms, which is why he is quite keen for us to work together again. But on the other hand, negotiating a pay package is quite delicate and friendliness really doesn't come into it.

I noticed that after I asked for a written offer, W started to get a bit uppity, saying "Well, let me know if you are really interested and then I'll send you a written offer because there's no point wasting your time ....". Meaning, of course, that there was no point wasting his time. So I said yes, send me a written offer. It doesn't mean that I have to accept it. Frankly, I'm not going to make any decisions without seeing the offer on paper - and then we can start negotiating.

However, now the doubts are creeping in. Did I say "yes" too quickly? Well OK, I didn't actually commit to anything; and besides we both know that my present employer will probably try to match the offer, or even top it. And I would be stupid not to try to get more money out of this.

Thinking about all this manouevring makes me nervous. I hate this stuff. Good job I'm not some kind of high level diplomat trying to broker trade agreements between countries, or God forbid, nuclear disarmament treaties. I'll have to practise my "show no feelings/give nothing away" face in the mirror this weekend.

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