Closing the Deal for Your Job Search

Closing the Deal for Your Job Search

If you don’t determine what you want, someone else will.

Cheryl had a great interview for a marketing director position. The Vice President of Marketing for the company, the hiring decision maker, called Cheryl this morning to inform her that he will communicate an employment offer to her within the next week. Cheryl has scheduled lunch with Madison, her close friend, to seek Madison’s advice on how to respond to the employment offer. Madison conducted a job search that resulted in a great position as general manager of a consumer products business unit.

Cheryl: I am almost there! I would like your advice on how to respond to the employment offer.

Madison: It is important that you determine what you want before you receive the offer. If you don’t, you may be inclined to accept what is best for your new boss and his organization. That may not be what is best for you.

Cheryl: How did you determine what you wanted before you received your offer?

Madison: I established guidelines. (Madison shared a list with Cheryl.)

  • Do not initiate the negotiation. Let your potential boss or the company representative initiate the negotiation.
  • Discern what you must have versus what you like to have.
  • Know when to say yes and when to decline the offer.
  • Confirm what your new boss or company and you agree on in writing.

Cheryl: One of my strengths is my ability to take the initiative. I was thinking about sending my starting negotiation position to my new boss to frame the negotiation.

Madison: The fact that he is extending an offer proves that you had the right product for the situation. He believes that you can solve his problems or address his challenges. You can extinguish his fires!

Cheryl: So…

Madison: You are in a position of strength. One of the rules of successful negotiation is that “It’s not what you have, it’s what the other person thinks you have.” (Madison provides the rule on an index card.)

Cheryl: Got it! Thank you for keeping me from weakening my negotiating position. How did you discern what you must have versus what you like to have?

Madison: I painted my whole picture. This included compensation, benefits, making the transition to the new position, what I needed to be successful once I joined the company, and my professional growth and development.

Cheryl: How did you determine the must have versus the like to have for compensation?

Madison: I conducted my own salary survey. I did internet searches for salary information for general managers of consumer products business units. I reviewed job postings on job websites for salary ranges. I talked to my close professional colleagues to discuss the salary scale in their organizations. I solicited information from the marketing executives association to which I belong. I also considered the cost of living for my new location versus where I was living, especially housing costs.

Cheryl: You really armed yourself!

Madison: Compensation was only one component of my arsenal. I looked at benefits in terms of what the company offered and what my financial contribution to benefits would be. I established my desired net, my salary less my contribution to benefits.

 Vacation and paid holidays help me manage my work/personal life balance. I established my floor in terms of what was my must versus like.

Cheryl: Wow!

Madison: Companies have relocation and other policies that relate to the transition of new employees. I knew I had to relocate. I had to sell my existing home, move my belongings, and purchase a new home. I determined what I needed to cover these expenses. My position was to communicate what I wanted and let the company determine how to provide what I wanted within their policies. The company’s relocation policy would not cover what I wanted. However, the company offered a sign-on bonus that made me whole.

Cheryl: What did you do to assure your success once you joined the company?

Madison: I was assuming leadership of an underperforming business unit. I needed to set a new direction to turn around the unit. I believed that there may be individuals who would resist the changes or were not capable of being strong performers in the new environment. I received the commitment of my new boss to support my personnel changes before I accepted the offer. This included my authority to terminate or reassign employees and to hire new employees.

Cheryl: I believe that I will need this support if I accept my offer. Market shares have been declining. A change in direction is needed. I need to ensure that my new boss will grant the needed authority to me.

Madison: I also ensured that I could influence how my new boss would evaluate my performance. He and I agreed on performance objectives I would accomplish during my first 6 months in the position and the criteria for measuring my success. We agreed to a formal 6-month performance appraisal.

Cheryl: You really did your homework.

Madison: My position as a general manager is a station on the road to having the career I want to experience. My new boss agreed that the company would cover my expenses related to my participation in the annual national consumer marketing executives’ conference for 3 years. He also agreed to fund an executive coach for me for my first 3 years at the company.

Cheryl: That is what I call setting the stage for success.

Madison: I could not predict how long my boss would be in the position as my immediate manager or how long he would be with the company. So, he and I signed an employment contract and he presented an offer letter that documented what we agreed on. These documents are in my personnel file. I also have copies in my personal files.

Cheryl: I have a lot to do to be in position to respond to the employment offer. Thank you for being a great friend and advisor.

Cheryl is about to complete a successful job search—one that will result in a potion that is consistent with her qualifications, career goals, and life goals. Cheryl used the job search formula to guide her search.

She used the Personal Selling Process.

Cheryl is a happy camper.

How is your job search going?

What job search experiences would you like to share?

What aha moments did you experience while reading this article?

I invite you to share your comments, experiences, and suggestions. This helps me provide information that may help you address your career opportunities and challenges.

Fields of Success offers complimentary coaching sessions. Visit the Contact page on the Fields of Success website to schedule a session.

I will take time off to enjoy the holiday season. I will post my next article during the Week of January 8.


Our careers are our most important economic asset.

To get the most value from your most important economic asset, you must manage The Business of You.

I wish you an enjoyable holiday season and a great 2018.



Founder, Fields of Success, LLC

 Enabling professionals to convert career challenges into career success stories.

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