Mistakes that can kill your career even before it takes off, because these are mistakes that can handicap your career start off. And everybody knows, if you lag behind at the start of a race, it is next to impossible to cover the lag. So, in this article I will be discussing some common mistakes made while negotiating for a job by first-timers.
- Placing wrong salary expectations: It is difficult to avoid revealing your salary expectations because most employers would ask even before beginning an interview about your salary expectations. Sometimes they will ask you to fill up a form before the interview, or even ask that you include your salary expectations right when you send in your resume. If you try to avoid a straight answer, you can be taken as uncommitted. If you try to get a job by asking a too low salary, you would not find respect or the job. The employers are looking for the right employee, a few dollars this way or that doesn't really matter to them for the right candidate. But a candidate who begins at a low value proposition would stand a lower chance of acceptance. Negotiating for a salary and selling consumer goods is not the same thing. Even in the goods market people are now skeptic about too low prices. So, you need to research the market and be fairly sure of the range enjoyed by people working in similar positions. When revealing your salary expectations, it is good to either offer a range, or 20% less than the top salary paid by similar employers to similar employees.
- Asking about salary first, and perks later or not at all: In a law job, you are going to earn, and the more you work the more you earn. Mostly earnings are flexible and depend upon both luck and capacity. However, it is the non-money component of your package that offers your work -life balance. Many times, youngsters ask about salary first and forget entirely about perks or non-money components like timings and leave policy. It's a hard world, and as they say, ''opportunity makes a man thief.'' If you give the opportunity, most employers except those with the highest moral integrity, will take advantage of the situation. To clinch a deal properly, it is extremely important to discuss and beat out the non-money component first and the monetary part last of all.
- Burning bridges right at the interview table: Whatever people say about the modern era and freestyle living, trust me, every action you take in the legal arena is going to spread around. Lawyers are a very closed and well-knit community, and that starts right from where you are now, from law school itself. The first and foremost rule of the game here is never to burn any bridges. If you decline an offer, or if the negotiation does not reach a favorable end, never lose your cool or polite manners. It is not uncommon for new people to become agitated on the interview table, especially during salary negotiations. Any misdemeanor will get talked about, be sure of that, and you never know when in your career you will need the employer you are declining today. Never burn bridges even if you do not accept the job. You are entering one of the most revered professions, behave as a professional.
- Pressing for a great number of changes: Many heads are turned by praise, and it is common and proper for potential employers to praise potential employees. Sometimes, young people let the praise go to their heads and start pressing for too many changes in the employment contract before accepting. It is a wrong attitude and not looked upon favorably. If your contract does need a change, focus on the principal one or two points and accommodate the rest. Things usually work out well. Even if the employer accepts too many changes in the contract, I have never seen that work out well in the long run. In the short run, of course, you can lose the job offer in all probabilities.
I believe these are some of the most common mistakes that students fresh from law school make when entering the professional world and negotiating for the first time for a job. As I said at the beginning of the article, if you are informed and aware you make less slips. I hope this article will help you to reconfirm what you already know, or may be help you to learn something new.
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