Three Tips for Negotiating Your Career

Featured Columnist: Cindy Minniti

Labor & Employment Partner, representing management, Managing Partner of the New York Office — Reed Smith LLP

As a labor and employment attorney at Reed Smith LLP, the managing partner of the law firm’s growing New York office, and a parent of two children, it goes without saying that negotiation plays a huge part in every one of my days.

Whether I’m negotiating school pickup and drop off with my husband, a resolution for a client or a new attorney’s compensation package, three principles I always keep in mind are to: set goals, be reasonable and be prepared.

  1. Set Goals. When it comes to your own career, setting goals can feel daunting. I find it helps to start by thinking — big picture — what you want to accomplish in life. From there, you can identify the shorter-term steps to meet your professional goals. Whether you want new training to help improve an aspect of your performance, to earn a management position or a promotion, or switch to a new subject area at your company, you will want to have a specific and achievable goal you’re negotiating for as your north star.
  2. Be Reasonable. You have to be honest with yourself about the match between what you want and what your company can offer. In order to maintain credibility you should always make sure your asks are reasonable and attainable.
  3. Be Prepared. Of course you’ll want to find out the parameters you’ll be judged against, what your skills are worth in the market, what skills you need to succeed in a different type of job — but these are really factors in setting your goal. What I mean is to prepare yourself to negotiate. What are the concessions you would make to help drive toward your goals? Who are your mentors and champions who will help you practice having the kind of courageous conversation you need to have with your supervisor to advance your career development? What is your bottom line?

These are my top three tips for negotiating to advance your own career, though of course it’s important for you to find the authentic style that works for you.

If you’re interested in further honing your negotiation skills, I hope you’ll consider joining me at the second-ever Women’s Insights on the Art of Negotiation (WIN) Summit May 17–18, 2017 in New York City. This conference will present a unique opportunity to improve upon your negotiating skills through the experience of educators, executives, business leaders and glass-ceiling breakers from a variety of sectors.

For more information on the WIN Summit, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Make sure to visit our site and register for the 2017 WIN Summit on May 17 and 18 in NYC.
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