Negotiating After Being Laid Off

Dallas had just moved to DC for a big new job in the city. She’d been working in political fundraising in her home state of North Carolina for years and following Bossed Up Bootcamp, she made the leap to pursue work on the national scale.

But less than a year in, the rug was pulled out from under her: Dallas was unexpectedly laid off due to budget shortfalls.

Restarting the job search after a lay-off

Having just navigated a big career transition, she wasn’t exactly looking forward to restarting the job search.

But after giving herself some time to recover from the shock, Dallas decided to pursue short-term contracts as a consultant while keeping her eye on potential full-time campaign positions for 2016.

A colleague put her in touch with a company in need of fundraising support and Dallas walked into her interview ready to land this contract. She sat down at a table with four men across from her, ready to make her case.

Know your numbers

Dallas had done her homework – she knew her worth and had a friend on the inside who’d given her an idea of where the company was coming from, financially. She also knew they’d been looking to fill this position for months without success.

Being able to take on the perspective of your counterpart is essential to effective negotiation.

Dallas was able to do so by tapping her network for intel.

Negotiating in the interview

Dallas nailed the interview, and the client was ready to offer her the job on the spot. “What kind of compensation are you looking for?” asked the man across the table. She recalled that naming your price can put you at a huge disadvantage in negotiation.

“Well, I’m sure you have a budget in mind for a project like this,” Dallas said, “what’s the range you are hoping to spend?”

The client named their range and Dallas immediately counter-offered, with a smile. She had just positioned herself as exactly the person they need for the job, catered to the client’s position, and negotiated on the spot, without apology or hesitation.

“One of the things that really struck me from Bossed Up,” says Dallas, “is that you’re not really negotiating unless you can walk away.”

Dallas was certainly interested in the job, but she wasn’t counting on it. And that put her in a strong position to go for it and negotiate for all she could.

Counter-offering with a smile

With a wry smile, the man across the table accepted her counteroffer and Dallas expressed just how excited she was to get to work for them.

Looking back, Dallas credits Bossed Up for being “a catalyst for my own courage. It reinforced my willingness to just go for it.”

“I always had ambition and drive,” says Dallas, “but it’s incredibly powerful to have a network of women who will back you up when you’re reaching for something new.”

I couldn’t agree more.


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