emotionsManaging your emotions is as key in the job search as it is in negotiations. It is important to become a blank slate!

This is the 6th post in the Negotiator Job Search series.

The rest of the series can be found here.

Blank Slate

In Jim Camp’s book, Start with NO…The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know, he writes:

In my system, “blank slate” is a verb. As negotiators, we actively blank slate in order to create a blank slate in our own minds, which then sits ready and waiting to receive any new information, new attitudes, new emotions, or new anything that our adversary wittingly or unwittingly beams our way. It is through blank slating that we learn what’s really going on in this negotiation— what’s really holding things up, what the adversary really needs.

Maintaining a blank slate or keeping your emotions in check is key in the job search.

Managing Positive Emotions

During a recent interview, a client of mine was told, “We needed you in this job yesterday!”

It would have been easy for her to think she basically had this job! She could have let down her guard and not listened with the same level of attention. She could have stopped asking probing questions. Instead, she said thank you and moved on to the next question.

You have to remember to not get caught up in your positive euphoria. You need to stay focused and not let your positive emotions get you to lose sight of the goal. Remember your Mission and Purpose of the job search.

Managing Negative Emotions

Many of you have encountered a situation wherein the recruiter calls you and starts to discuss money very early on. They throw out a low ball number, and you think:

Oh crap! I can’t work for that amount of money. What the heck should I do now?

It would be easy to lose your excitement for the position.

In late 2007, I was called by a recruiter from a sexy startup. They had a newly created training position, and wanted to know if I was interested. We got into a discussion of compensation, and I asked her what she had budgeted for the position. She gave me a really low number.

At this point, I could have easily said I was not interested. Instead, I responded that they will not get anyone with any real experience at that price. They really needed someone with a fair amount of experience for this position. She asked me about my current salary.

My current salary was not relevant because I was working for a non-profit.

I gave her an approximate number of what I made when I left high tech sector four years earlier (which was double what she had budgeted!).

She asked me if I was still interested.

I told her we should keep talking.

I could have easily become negative, and it would have come out in our conversation. Instead, I maintained a blank slate. They eventually made me an offer that was close to my previous compensation.

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