Are You from Another Planet?

ASK-QUESTIONBefore you talk to a recruiter or hiring manager, ask yourself: “Am I from another planet?” Because you might be, when it comes to expectations, environment, hierarchy, and all sorts of corporate culture.

The number one reason why most people lose out on bigger salaries, plus a moving allowance, expense account and even a down payment on a house is?

You don’t know to ask for it.

If the “planet” you’re from has a culture that includes “don’t ask for more than we think you deserve,” you are leaving money, benefits, and perquisites on the table.

Your current planet might be a business where you are working, or it might be your family culture, where you never understood how much money came in and where it all went.

If you are a second child, your “family planet” has really compromised your asking ability.

After all, your eldest sibling had the “first mover advantage.”

A second child’s life is lived like you’re behind Microsoft, Apple, Oakley, Iron Man and Henry Ford’s Model T. The eldest child naturally has a winner take all mentality.

If you fall anywhere behind the eldest, you got trickle down everything. Clothes, bedroom furniture, books, music, computer, video game console and pie (or whatever dessert was left over after numero uno was full). Stuff just trickled down on little lucky you.

Of course, your life might not have been that harsh. And, you might be the eldest or only child (like the great majority of US astronauts and presidents).

If you are the eldest, you got treated either too well or too harshly.

The parental units either doted on you or cut their teeth on you.

If you’re an only child, you have been on your own planet for too long. You might lack empathy, patience and agreeableness. That makes you a great mergers and acquisitions executive, but a difficult employee all the way up the ladder to that post.

The truth is: no one has it easy interviewing at a new company. It’s a new planet. You don’t know what to expect. It’s hard to get ready for the unknown.

I worked at seven major media companies and Global 2000 corporations. Each one was a planet onto itself. Some had less gravity, thinner air, and way better perqs. Some had more gravity, thicker air and way less of everything else.

When I became a consultant, I realized that I was on a different planet with every phone call, meeting and strategy session. The ability to recognize that old rules do not apply, is imperative to your success. The ability to read the landscape and the people on it is mission critical.

My advice to you is “stay in the moment,” when you are in conversations with people you do not yet know.

Do not go forward with your old mindset.

You cannot imagine what is so much better and how to get it – if you persist in believing that you know how it is everywhere. And, you won’t know what to avoid, if you’re coming from a happy place and into a darker one.

A basic rule: ask for more than you think you deserve. Ask for a moving allowance. Ask for car service. Ask for a down payment on a house. And, if you think the company’s going to go places, get stock.

What is your biggest salary negotiation question? Ask me and I will answer. Email: Nance@NanceRosen.com Subject line: Salary

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