Contract Negotiations: Mentors Can Help You Prepare

Throughout this article, we explain how a mentor can help with the process of contract negotiation.

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Whenever you’re looking for a good job, your goal is to find the right fit. It’s ideal to find a job you find interesting and fulfilling, but you also have to be practical. Salary and benefits are hugely important considerations when you’re looking for a new job.

Once you’ve gotten through the interview process and you’ve been extended a job offer, you need to enter into contract negotiations. Most people struggle with negotiating. The stakes are high and although it’s a standard part of onboarding, it can feel like conflict.

The good news is that having a mentor can make the process feel far less intimidating. A mentor can help you prepare for negotiations so you can confidently accept a job offer knowing that you’re getting compensated fairly. Here are some of the ways your mentor can help you prepare for contract negotiations.

Reinforce the Value You Offer

We’re our own worst critics. When it comes to negotiations, it’s easy to forget how much value you can bring to an organisation.

If someone is offering you a job, then they feel you have something to offer that will make their company stronger. That’s a good position to be in. During negotiations, it’s important to remember and reinforce the value you offer.

Your mentor can give you an outside perspective on your own strengths and the value of your skills. They can help you come up with talking points that will show your prospective employer why they should invest more into your salary and benefits.

Research the Market

When walking into a negotiation, you need to know what’s fair for the work you’ll be doing. Depending on your industry, there might be lots of information about standard compensation. However, if your job will be more unique, it can be difficult to determine what the standard salary range should be.

Your mentor should be able to help you find comparable salaries that you can use in the negotiation process. Even if you can’t find a direct comparison, you and your mentor should be able to come up with a salary range that will provide a guideline.

Understand the Value of Benefits

Depending on where you are in your career, you might not know just how much benefits matter in a contract negotiation. Your mentor can help you figure out what is most important to you and what you should prioritise in your negotiations. What are you willing to give up for certain benefits?

Taking a lower salary for better benefits can be a good or bad move depending on the situation. Your mentor can help you weigh the pros and cons of the benefits you’ve been offered so you can go into your negotiations knowing what you want.

Building Your Confidence

Many people, especially women, dread negotiating. In fact, one study found that 60% of women don’t negotiate their pay at all. If you hate the idea of asking for more money, you’re definitely not alone.

A mentor can help you build your confidence so you can negotiate successfully and feel good about the process. They might walk you through role-playing scenarios so you can feel prepared and empowered to ask for fair terms.

It’s important to remember that employers expect you to negotiate. They might offer you a lower salary than they can afford initially, knowing that you’ll ask for more pay!

Approach Negotiations in the Spirit of Collaboration

Negotiations can feel like a battle, but you’ll feel much more at ease if you approach them in the spirit of collaboration. Your mentor can help you rehearse your talking points and help you identify win-wins for you and your employer.

Validating You…and Helping You Stay Realistic

One of the reasons people feel intimidated by contract negotiations is that they’re not sure what is “safe” to ask for. You can do your research and know what you want to ask for, but it can be scary to throw those numbers out there without an outside opinion. Ideally, the offer you get will also help guide your negotiation figures.

Your mentor can help you by validating the terms you want from a prospective employer. They can also help you stay realistic if the number you have in mind is too high for your experience level, industry, or the position itself. Having someone knowledgeable to check in with can make a big difference in how you approach a negotiation.

Being prepared goes a long way toward a positive negotiation process. Your mentor will be a source of support and can help you feel more confident about asking for what you deserve!

If you're looking to find a mentor, join PushFar today. We're the world's leading mentoring and career progression platform, with over 80,000 members looking to mentor, be mentored, or do both.

This article was guest written by Andrew Deen.

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