Why you must spend some time learning the art of negotiation


Learning the Art of NegotiationYou have to ask for money because there’s always more money and they won’t give it to you because you’re a girl. ~Claire Danes

A new year is often a time when people decide that it’s the right time to change jobs. For whatever reason they decide it’s time to move on.

That’s fair enough; if you’re not enjoying doing whatever you’re doing or you no longer feel challenged by whatever you’re doing then it’s important to find something that really does get you feeling energised again.

However whilst finding a new job is one thing, getting fair recompense for the value you will add is quite another.

As a hiring manager I’ve always been amazed by how many people settled for the first figure offered to them. It’s surprising just how many people have little or no sense of their own worth relative to their skill-set and the real market value of jobs.

Now it’s important to remember that hiring managers work within budgets obviously and they have a duty to their employers to keep costs as low as possible.

When hiring managers are recruiting they’ll know the market rate for the job on offer, or at least the HR department will and they will have advised the hiring manager accordingly.

Nevertheless dear reader you must recognise that the market rate for any job is not a single figure. The market rate falls within a range and it’s the range that will have been supplied by the HR department.

So when the hiring manager decides that you’re the person they want to hire then in negotiating a package with you they will have that range in mind.

Naturally they’ll want to minimise the impact on their budget and so they will attempt to recruit you at the lower end of that range if that’s possible.

Yes, they’ll recognise that they have to offer you a premium on your current salary if it’s to make sense for you to leave your current employer. After all you’re always taking a degree of risk when you change jobs. And so a risk premium must be paid by the hiring manager.

That premium typically will be an uplift of around 10% – 20% above your current salary.

Beyond that, for the hiring manager, it’s all about securing your services for the lowest rate possible within the market rate range. And from a business standpoint that’s fair enough.

It’s the nature of business after all. If fact in our daily lives we’re all trying to purchase products and services for the lowest rate possible; so why should we expect businesses to be any different?

However as a jobseeker, you should be trying to sell your services for the highest price possible. That too is fair game. You must always look after your own interests because if you don’t then no one else will, that’s for sure.

Think about it. In selling products and services, businesses are trying to sell at the highest price the market will stand so they can generate the highest margins possible for their shareholders.

So why shouldn’t you get the best deal possible for yourself, relative to what the market will stand? You must know your own value and you shouldn’t just accept the first figure on offer.

Essentially it’s all a game of horse-trading. The company almost always makes a low offer, so you must try to negotiate a better offer.

To do that, before going into any negotiation, it’s important that you have some idea of the market rate for the role.

That means you need to have done some research to establish the likely range the hiring manager will be working within.

You also need to have a sales pitch available so you can highlight your own unique selling proposition and why you are worth a bit more.

The key message here is that you don’t just accept the first offer.

In today’s quote, originally recorded in the British newspaper the Financial Times, actress Claire Danes reminds us that there will be more money available and if you ask for more you might just surprise yourself.

In making this observation, modestly Ms Danes said that this was what she had learned from older actresses.

It’s a useful tip for every jobseeker, female or male.

Never be afraid to negotiate and when you leave the table make sure you’re taking away as much as you can within reason.

Once again I cannot emphasise this point too much. You must know your own worth, always.

Don’t be bashful; be business-like and make sure you get a fair share of the pie.

As I said earlier, if you don’t look after your own interests, no one else will.

In the year ahead I recommend that you spend some time learning the art of negotiation. It really is a very useful skill to develop.

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Habits of Success

Habits of successHave you ever wondered why some people are successful and others are not?

In this video Brian Tracy provides some useful advice on the habits you will need to develop if you really do want to be successful.

As always Brian provides us with some great insight into how successful people behave and the structured way in which they work towards turning their goals into achievements.

Whether you’re a fan of Brian Tracy or you just want to be successful, this video is well worth a few minutes of your time.

Watch and learn.

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Why your time is valuable

Time is valuableDo you want to make money from Facebook? It’s easy. Just go to your Account Setting; deactivate your account; and go to work! ~Author Unknown

Dear reader, if you’re not currently successful, would you like to be?

Many readers will answer in the affirmative of course but then they don’t quite know how to realise their dreams. You may be one of them, perhaps?

Well today I offer you one tip that will be useful to you whatever it is you’d really like to do with your life.

If you’re not sure how to become successful then start by looking closely at successful people and you’ll find at least a few clues there.

However allow me to offer you one of those clues now. And that is that if there’s one thing all successful and wealthy people have in common it is that they don’t waste their time.

They know that time is a precious and limited resource and they recognise that they must use it wisely. And in using it wisely they avoid ‘time sucks’.

The biggest time wasters by far are television and social media. People waste hours of their time on both, particularly on social media nowadays.

Now don’t get me wrong, social media can be a very useful tool as a vehicle for communication both professionally and with friends and family.

However it can also be a distraction. And if it’s a distraction then it might just limit your earning power.

Social media really is just a tool. It might be a useful tool but it’s still just a tool.

Use it by all means but be disciplined in your use of social media.

Your time is precious and, if you want to be successful and make serious money, then you need to use your time wisely. That is today’s underlying message.

Spending your time on social media might be entertaining and informative but it’s unlikely to be profitable.

You can spend your time on social media or you can work hard, with a sense of purpose, on realising your goals and your dreams. The choice is yours; and the consequences will be too.

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Why you must know your why

know your whyIt’s the first day of a brand new year and our lives are full of possibility once again.

No matter how bad the old year proved to be for you dear reader, it’s gone now and so you start afresh.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably come up with a few resolutions already. And if you’re serious about your resolutions then perhaps you’re serious about being successful too.

However, what’s the real secret of success?

Why is it that some people are successful and others will never be?

In the embedded video, Hollywood legend, movie star, two-term Governor of California and former Mr Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares his five secret steps to tackling life and achieving success.

Essentially these are his five rules to excel at whatever you choose to do.

He has an interesting story to tell and his story proves that no obstacle is too big to overcome and no vision, too big to achieve, if you’re determined enough and you’re prepared to work hard.

Change the world:

To summarise Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rules, they are:-

  1. Find your vision and follow it;
  2. Never, ever think small;
  3. Ignore the Naysayers;
  4. Work your ass off; and
  5. Don’t just take, give something back.

However if you listen to Arnold’s story, his burning desire was to move to the United States and become a big star. This was his reason why.

Initially he has no idea how to achieve that goal but a little piece of good fortune came his way.

Arnold happened to read an article in a magazine about a man just like him who achieved just what he wanted to achieve. The article explained how the man did it and Arnold used that success template as the basis for pursuing his own goal.

Identify successful people and do what they did:

Once he knew his why, Arnold Schwarzenegger just needed to work out a way to get there. Knowing your why will always, eventually, lead you to your how.

Once Arnold knew his purpose and his passion, he was always going to find a way. His determination and his willingness to do whatever was necessary saw to that.

Had he not been lucky enough to identify a role model through a magazine article, something else would have guided him because that’s the nature of life. When you’re searching for something you’ll tune in to all the little clues you need.

Once you know your why, you develop a keen sense of that subject and everyone else involved.

Trust yourself:

If you know your why then you’ll have the drive and determination to pursue your goal.

Nothing happens by accident of course. You must make it happen.

So figure out for yourself what it is you really, really want. What would make you happy? What would you regard as a real achievement?

Then find a role model.

Someone who’s done what you want to do. Identify how they did it and copy what they’ve done. If their approach worked for them, it can work for you.

Avoid distractions:

If you want to be successful then don’t allow ‘time sucks’ to throw you off course.

Television and social media are the biggest time wasters of all.

Time is a precious resource and successful people don’t waste it. So if you want to be successful, don’t waste yours. Put every minute to good use.

Know your why

The key message today, both from this article and the embedded video, is that you must know your why.

That’s the starting point for success.

So if you’ve yet to do that then I suggest that’s where you start in this brand new year if you want to be successful.

And remember this; if not you, who? If not now, when?

Other people achieve success and so can you. Good luck.

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When talent matters and when it doesn’t

Potential counts for nothing if it remains unfulfilled. ~Roy Sutton

You can have an enormous amount of talent but so what? It’s not what you have it’s what you do with what you have. If you don’t put your God-given talent to good use then it is simply wasted on you.

Those things at which you are truly exceptional are the basis on which you can really make your mark on life, or not.

It’s your choice. Live your life and make the best use of your talent and intellect or don’t bother.

The world won’t notice if you decide to waste your talent. Your loved ones might notice but the world will carry on regardless.

However use your talent, put it to good use, and the world will notice you.

It will require discipline and dedication of course and a desire to master your craft, whatever that may be.

Still it will be worth it to be recognised as someone who made the best use of what they had and made a difference.

The world doesn’t have enough talented people, so don’t waste yours. Go out there and be the best.

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Can there be a better feeling than winning?

There’s nothing like winning. ~Tony Adams

Can there be a better feeling than winning?

That feeling you get when you experience real success. It makes you feel ten feet tall.

Maybe you have yet to have that experience. If so, don’t give up. It really is worth the effort, believe me.

You can only truly know how it feels when you get there. But if you get there once, you will want to go back there again and again and again.

So go on, become a legend in your own right.

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How to measure whether you are of good character

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking. ~Author Unknown

Most people like to think they’re honest and certainly I do. Well we all like to be seen as being honest that’s for sure.

However what would we be prepared to do individually if we thought no one else was looking; if we thought we would never ever be caught?

Now that’s the real measure of just how honest we are; we can fool others perhaps but we cannot really fool ourselves.

Deep down we all know what we are. Maybe we’re good; maybe we’re bad. Then again maybe we’re just people who care about what others think of us.

If you’re the sort of person who does the right thing when no one else is looking then you’re truly of good character, because that’s the real measure of character.

Fail to do the right thing in those circumstances and that suggests you are someone of questionable character, to some degree at least, regardless of any character profile you like to present publicly.

Personally I try to be of good character and I try to do the right thing always, regardless of whether I’m being watched. However I’m more a work-in-progress than someone who always gets it right. No one’s perfect, least of all me.

That said, I think aspiring to be of good character is well worth working at and that is one of my aim’s in life.

How about you? What do you think?

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How to really make your mark on life

How good it would be to be remembered for having contributed to someone’s life in a way which enlightened them or simply brought them lasting pleasure. The best epitaphs are those written in the hearts and minds of those we leave behind and to be remembered for inspiring others would be a wonderful thing. ~Les Horton

If you want to make your mark on life then find ways to make a difference. Helping others; inspiring others; encouraging others; that’s where we can all make a real difference in life. You really can be the light that leads the way for others to follow.

We all struggle with life at times. We all have our troubles occasionally. Help others now and one day they’ll be there for you when you need them.

Only people matter really. Everything else can never be as important to you as your loved ones, your friends and the people that are part of your life each and every day. Prioritise people and you can’t go too far wrong. Well, I think so anyway.

I can only agree with the quote above from the late, Gulf Daily News journalist, Les Horton. If you’re remembered in the hearts and minds of others then that would reflect a life well-lived.

Can there be a better way to live? What do you think?

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Why you should put something away for a rainy day

When you have money, think of the time when you had none. ~Japanese Proverb

Most people experience hard times at some point in their lives, particularly when they’re young.

If you are lucky enough to have a good income now, you’d do well to remember the tough times and put some of your income away for a rainy day.

You can be sure it will rain, the only question is when.

You will be able to weather the storm a lot better if you have a financial cushion in the form of some savings.

It’s easy to squander your money thinking the good times will never end. However nothing lasts forever. So, be prepared.

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Here’s why you should have no regrets

Do you have a dream of doing something that you feel would be right for you?

Perhaps it’s a line of work to which you feel drawn? Yet somehow you’re drifting through life doing something else?

Perhaps you feel that you don’t have the time to master the skills required to pursue this line of work?

Perhaps discouraging comments from other people have put you off trying it at all?

How sad it would be if you were to miss out on your true calling in life, simply because you didn’t have a go.

Your chance to enjoy what you do and make a real difference could be passing you by. You could do it if you really want to do it but only if you try.

Every expert was once a beginner. Every successful man or woman had to begin somewhere. Success begins with the first step.

The trick is to get started. Get started now and one day you could become a success in whatever line of work is currently only a dream for you. It is possible to spend the rest of your life doing something in which you feel truly engaged.

If there is something that you really would like to do then start doing it now. It is better to try and fail than to spend your life wondering what might have been. Don’t risk looking back on your life and thinking you might have been a serious contender in the success stakes if only you’d had a go.

Have no regrets, have a go instead. And it’s never been easier to have a go. For instance, you could start initially by doing whatever it is you dream about in your spare time.

Want to be a writer? What’s stopping you?

Ten years ago you would have had the problem of getting published. Now you can self-publish and sell your work as eBooks on Amazon and other eCommerce sites. Apparently EL James of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ fame started out this way. If you’re good enough, eventually people will notice.

Fancy being a rock star? Then get your act together and upload videos of your performances on to YouTube. The British band The Arctic Monkeys started out this way and they have Number 1 albums to their name as proof of their success.

Maybe it’s make-up which fascinates you? Lauren Luke was interested in make-up and she managed to make a name for herself by leveraging the power of YouTube too.

If you have a smartphone or a personal computer then recording a video these days is easy.

Videos for YouTube don’t have to be of the highest quality but if your work is good, it’s amazing how quickly people will notice you and before you know it you could have a following.

So get started; have a go; in your spare time if necessary.

Yes of course you’ll make mistakes. Your efforts in the beginning may be dire or less than impressive. But you’ll learn; you’ll get better; and you’ll hone your craft. And one day maybe you’ll be the best. Believe you can and you will. That’s my motto.

And remember, everyone starts somewhere.

Don’t make excuses; do it now. And don’t let other people discourage you or stand in your way. Ignore negative nellies. They don’t want you to succeed because they’re too scared to have a go at succeeding themselves. So they’d prefer you to stay at their level. However don’t fall for that trick.

As long as you believe you can do it then what others think is not important.

If the door is shut in your face, climb through the window or down the chimney. Never accept any answer unless it’s the one you want.

No one can stop you achieving your dreams, except you. As the saying goes, seize the day! And do it right now. Enjoy your life; do those things you’d really like to do; and leave no room for regrets.

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