Negotiating My Way Through a Tough Decision
In my story Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde I outlined the contradictory nature of my job/entreprenuer situation. Basically I have been working very hard at ‘getting out of the rat race’, meaning my 9 to 5 job, and just as I started to make some serious progress, I received a highly coveted “Permanent Position” as a pretty-well-paid systems analyst. As I outlined in that story, I work for the Government of the one of the wealthiest regions on the planet, so this is a position that would be described by many, as extremely rare with to-die-for job security and benefits.
In situations like this what I like to do is to try and put all the peripheral issues [like more money and benefits] aside and just see what is at my core in response to the choice.
Here’s a good decision making method you may want to try. Flip a coin: okay of course there’s a twist. Say something like heads – I take the job offer and tails – I stay in my current job that I really like. Now, pay attention and as you flip the coin in the air, what result are you secretly cheering for? This is a way to take what is really important and bring it into the picture. When I used this method it was clear that I wanted to keep my current job.
What to do? On the surface it was a silly decision. How could I keep my cake and eat it too as my grandma would say? Negotiate. I went to my boss and told him that I had another job offer. I was told flat out that there was no chance they would match the offer [it is common knowledge that these positions only come available when someone dies or retires and it is not unusual for there to be hundreds of applicants], but he said he would, as a token effort, raise it up the chain of command.
Well, about 10 days later he told me that, to his supreme surprise, there was a rumour that they would somehow manifest the impossible – a matching full time position [personally I think it had more todo with a point of pride at not wanting the other department to be able to raid our staff, than it did to my great value]. Unfortunately, I had to either accept or reject the original offer the next day and a rumour in these parts is not anything to hang your hat on. So I made the very scary step of rejecting the original offer knowing that I may end up with nothing. I didn’t feel that it was fair to try and extend the deadline and since it was clear to me that I wanted to stay [even in a temporary position], so I declined the offer and cashed in all my bargaining power.
Now, I’m not stupid, I didn’t tell anyone that I had rejected the other job offer. Then about two weeks later, it happened, the golden call from HR asking me to go to the RCMP for a background check [which I passed believe it or not]!
So I pulled it off. I got to keep my position, I ended up with a 22% raise [for doing the exact same work], job security till age 65 [I don't plan on using it, but it is still nice] and about a 7 year jump up into an intermediate analyst position [I'm only one year out of college!]. All and all it was a great win-win for me. I think the key take-away is to not be afraid to put the right things first in your decision making process. It was more important for me to keep the job that I liked than to have security and more money. I set my priorities in the right order and then stuck to them for every decision that I had to make in that process.
Holding seemingly conflicting forces in your psyche at the same time, without bending to the discomfort and making a decision too soon, is the greatest visualization and manifestation tool that I’m aware of. The next time you have to make a tough decision try it out; there is always a point in the middle of all the conflicts that is the magic overlap of all opposing forces. Once you’ve seen it work a couple times you’ll begin to crave being in a tight spot because the outcomes are often completely fantastic.