A video on the Lifehacker website caught my interest recently, so much so that I found myself repeating some of the content to a friend who was going for a job interview. In the video, author Ramit Sethi outlines what he calls the Briefcase Technique for use during negotiations for things like increases in salary or contract rates and so on. The technique is brilliantly simple, though perhaps more than a little gimmicky. The basic gist is you go into such negotiations totally prepared, so much so that you would be in a position to produce a document that outlines the benefits you could bring to a potential employer or client having developed an understanding of the issues facing the business and genuinely preparing a plan for how you would personally deal with those issues. The real heart of the Briefcase Technique is that you’re supposed to pull out this document (from your briefcase, hence the name) just when you get to the money negotiation section of the interview.
While the video is entertaining in an infomercial sort of way, I’m not sure how well the technique would work outside of the U.S., or outside any situation where money isn’t explicitly discussed (especially as many employers tend to make salary offers when later offering the job and don’t negotiate it during the interview – if you’re contracting that can be slightly different). However, in the video Sethi does make an interesting point about the difficulties around starting something, particularly a document that requires any form of serious creative thought. Continue reading “Overcoming Initial Resistance: A Guide for the Gun-Shy”