Negotiate an Employment Agreement

  • Communicate verbally
    Verbal communication trumps all aspects of written communication, especially the use of third party intermediaries. All edits should be documented and received in writing, of course. But verbal communication allows the company to understand your excitement, strengthen the connection and minimizes miscommunication. Sometimes attorneys or recruiters spearhead contract negotiations. This runs the risk of playing telephone – things get lost in translation. Even if you have a representative handling the process, make sure you are always kept informed.
  • Provide Options
    When discussing terms, provide options. Give yourself room for flexibility. Providing options underscores your negotiating skills, makes you appear reasonable and reinforces your ability to be a team player. For example, with severance, you might be willing to take a more restrictive clause in terms of a noncompete if you are paid for the entire noncompete period. If you aren’t being paid for the entire noncompete period, you may suggest a shorter restrictive period.
  • Revisit your priorities
    Keep your three items in mind. Then you will know what you are willing to negotiate and what you “must have”. You can always acquiesce on other items in order to have your top three priorities.
  • Think before reacting
    Always ask for time to consider the proposed changes, review the suggestions and discuss the terms with a trusted advisor.
  • Communicate professionally
    Keep the lines of communication open. Stay positive, polite and friendly. Be willing to listen.