Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Dissent, disagreement, compromise and consensus 24 – the jobs and careers context 23

This is my 24th installment to a series on negotiating in a professional context, starting with the more individually focused side of that as found in jobs and careers, and going from there to consider the workplace and its business-supportive negotiations (see Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3 and its Page 4 continuation, postings 484 and following for Parts 1-23.)

I effectively began this series in its Part 2, focusing on the issues of negotiating and the overall negotiations process as they would apply in a job search, and when seeking out and landing a desired next step career move and employment opportunity. And I then switched from that, to consider the new hire probationary period that you would face once you achieve that first-step goal and actually begin working at this new job. I discussed a set of negotiations issues that arise as crucially important for this step in your tenure with a new employer, starting with Part 14 and continuing on through Part 23. And I concluded that installment, with a brief anticipatory note as to what will follow here, which I repeat with minor editing as a starting point for this next step in this narrative progression:

• And with that, I am going to turn to consider negotiating in general as a jobs and careers tool set. That means looking way beyond any initial new hire probationary period to consider entire tenures as an employee with a given business, where promotions and more lateral moves, and possible career set-backs and recoveries from them and job description evolution in general can bring you to a position and to holding work responsibilities with an employer that could not have been imagined when you were first brought on-board.

I went on from there to state that actually addressing the issues raised there, calls for focused effective negotiations and all of the preparatory work that you would carry out leading up to them, and all of the post-meeting follow-through that those negotiations would lead to if their expected and desired results are to be effectively carried out. And crucially importantly, and for all that will follow here:

• Negotiations of this type essentially always take place and hold meaning in the context of change, and its at least potential challenges and opportunities.

That point of observation certainly applies to the topic points and issues that I have been raising and discussing in this series up to here. And it will continue to hold merit, and even defining merit in what is to come here too.

I offer this posting as a transition point discussion in this overall narrative. And my goal for it is to organize and lay out in general terms, what is to follow in more detailed discussion through the next upcoming installments. That noted, what are some of the issues: some of the workplace events and occurrences, predictably expected and otherwise that would explicitly call for negotiations, and specific planning and preparation (where possible) for it? A few obvious example situations come readily to mind, including but not limited to:

1. Changes in tasks assigned, and resources that would at least nominally be available for them: timeline allowances and work hour requirements definitely included there,
2. Salary and overall compensation changes,
3. Overall longer-term workplace and job responsibility changes and constraints box issues as change might challenge or enable your reaching your goals there,
4. Promotions and lateral moves,
5. Dealing with difficult people – see my Should I stay or Go series, among other resources already in place here (as can be found at Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3),
6. And negotiating possible downsizings and business-wide events that might lead to them. I add this example last on this list because navigating this type of challenge as effectively as possible, calls for skills in dealing with all of the other issues on this list and more, and with real emphasis on Plan B preparation and planning, and execution too, as touched upon in Part 23.

Change can be desired and positive, or negative and in ways that would best be addressed by reframing how they would arise and play out for you if nothing else. And change is always taking place and at least as a slow, more evolutionary process – with episodic bursts of sudden, more disruptive change added in too. So this posting and those to follow, are ultimately all about looking for change – desired or not, understanding it and its dynamics, and accommodating and influencing it where possible and appropriate. And I add the issues of more proactively addressing change to that more reactive vision of it and response to it, too.

And as a final thought for this installment, I explicitly make note of a crucially important point that I raised in my above restated anticipatory note for this posting, that will arise anew for every case in point context and event example that I would or could discuss in this narrative thread.

Negotiations, or at least effective ones that would continue to work for you longer term, are never once-and-done activities. Effective negotiations call for groundwork and preparation, and that is one of the key areas of an overall job experience where effective communications and networking become vital.

Negotiations do not generally end with a handshake and a permanently settled initial agreement, and certainly not for issues of any real complexity, or for ones that would extend out over time. New problems can and do arise, and older problems can mutate and evolve and with that including growth in their scope and impact. And all of that change and all of that potential for it can create pressing need for further negotiations, with fine tuning as to what was agreed to, if not more complete renegotiations on at least some critical issues that might have seemed settled. This, I have to add here, is also where gaps in what was initially negotiated can emerge too and with emerging need to address them too.

And misunderstandings and communications failures can arise in any step in that, and this means a need for further at-least clarifying engagement here, and to limit if not forestall the above noted problem types where that might be more proactively possible. So I will write in what follows, of negotiations as an ongoing process, and I will address the specific events and circumstances of my above list from that perspective.

I will start working my way through the above-offered to-address list in my next installment to this series, with its Scenario 1: changes in tasks assigned and in the requirements and resources offered to carry them out. (Note that change of the type raised here can mean you having to carry out what should have been a short-term task, long-term and with “carrying out” supplanting any possible “completing.” A lot of possibilities are included in that topics point, some of which will be more fully considered when addressing the above list’s Scenario 3.)

Meanwhile, you can find this and related material at Page 4 to my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development, and also see its Page 1, Page 2 and Page 3. And you can also find this series at Social Networking and Business 2 and also see its Page 1 for related material.

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