Washington, D.C. 2009-Review of Program F-1-Getting to Yes: Developing Effective Salary Negotiation Skills

Washington, D.C. 2009-Review of Program F-1-Getting to Yes:  Developing Effective Salary Negotiation Skills

Date:  Monday, July 27 – 10:45am – 11:45am

Speaker:  Nan Siemer, BREAKERS

Coordinator:  Femi Cadmus, Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Library

Femi Cadmus and Nan Siemer led an interactive discussion on salary negotiation.  The program began with Ms. Cadmus giving an overview of the Economic Survey.  She explained that private law libraries have been most affected by the poor economy.  She also explained how academic universities have had to battle with reductions in endowments.

Next, Ms. Siemer transitioned the discussion to negotiation.  Ms. Siemer said several things that challenged the way I thought about my career and negotiation.  People negotiate for cars and houses every day, and people should also negotiate compensation packages.  First, she began by stating that you do not have to just be thankful you have a job during the poor economy.  Your duties or your position may change, so you should try to negotiate a better compensation package.  Ms. Siemer also took the time to explain that compensation can come in forms other than salary.  For example, she suggested asking the company to pay for your parking, which may work better in a firm environment, or asking for a matching 401K contribution.  Further, Ms. Siemer stated that you need to take into account quality of life factors that make a job desirable, such as distance from daycare, a laptop for home use, or even pet insurance. 

Additionally, it was stated that doing more with less is not the answer.  Instead, libraries should not shy away from reprioritizing and changing how things are done.

Further, Ms. Siemer suggested that you should not take negotiating personally.  Negotiation is part of business, and don’t be afraid to hear “no” or to say “no.”  You have to be willing to walk away for negotiating to be effective.  Also, it is possible for you to negotiate with your current employer.  

Ms. Siemer also discussed negotiating separation agreements.  In addition to money she stated that employees should ask for letters of recommendation and other placement support and extensions of professional memberships.  She also said that you should not sign a letter of resignation.  You should not give up your right to unemployment.

Most importantly, Ms. Siemer said that you cannot lose sight of why you are working.  Also, remember to negotiate as an individual.  Negotiation can be a bit uncomfortable, but it is necessary. 

I thought both Ms. Cadmus and Ms. Siemer were very dynamic speakers.  Additionally, I liked how they allowed questions throughout the program, instead of just leaving time at the end for questions.  Several colleagues asked questions during the program

For additional information about salary negation, see the AALL Salary Negotiation Wiki http://aallnet.pbworks.com/Salary-Negotiation.

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