What to Do When Evaluating Employment Offers
When you’re evaluating employment offers, watch out for that “potential” number when evaluating the compensation.
You’ve seen the advertisements: “…$250,000 guaranteed, $350,000 potential…”
That “potential” number is being used to manipulate you on many levels, some obvious some not so much.
And to make a good decision, you have to defeat them all.
Do you ever pay sticker price for a car?
Of course not. Nobody does.
Then why does the dealer even offer the number?
It’s called “anchoring.”
It’s a persuasion technique that allows the buyer to tell themselves a story that, whatever price they paid, they got themselves a great deal.
And that’s all that salesmanship is, giving the customer a story they can tell themselves about their purchase that’s compelling enough to enable a follow through all the way to the sale.
Well, the “potential compensation” number is just like the sticker price, an anchor you can use to tell yourself a story.
“The other job had the same minimum but the upside of this one is so much greater, I’m lucky I found it.”
Sure, it’s possible to achieve the “potential number”, but the effort is not commensurate with the gain.
So, to effectively evaluate an employment offer, you have to disarm it.
Just ignoring it doesn’t work—the offer is designed to tickle the subconscious decision-making processes in your brain. It will influence you, even if you consciously discount it.
You have to disarm it.
Find out how much work you have to do to earn the minimum guarantee, then divide that number into the amount of the guarantee.
Do this with every offer. Forget the “potential”, just do it for the guarantee.
You now have a hard number to work with.
Once you have the hard number, you can compare offers against each other.
And the guarantee won’t enter into it.
Acquisition professionals, those who purchase supplies and services for corporations, do this every day. They get a hard number per unit they want to buy to determine who is offering the best deal. It gives them a defensible number to present to their bosses when they’re ready to recommend a purchase. It also demonstrates that they’ve not been taken in by persuasion tricks.
Use the same technique for yourself.
After all, you have the hardest boss of all to please.