The Mother of All Negotiations

People ask, "Why do all your siblings live in different states?" I tell them my parents had a catapult on the front porch. As soon as we turned 18, they would put each of us in it, wind it up and fling us as far as they could.

When you get thrown out into the world, sometimes you stick the landing. Sometimes you land face down on the pavement, just short of the landing pad. What's important, is you get up and make your own way.

Someone recently told me about a student who received a job offer. He told his mother and she immediately asked, "Did you negotiate your salary?"

"No," said the student. He thought the offer was generous.

"I'll handle this," said Mom. She called the employer and told them what salary her son should get.

The employer said, "Thank you very much. We are looking at other candidates." The offer was rescinded. Imagine that mother, telling her son how she lost his hard-earned job offer.

Parenting is the most important job anyone will ever have. The duties of a parent include teaching your offspring to live independently. Even before they go off to college, they should know how to:
* Do their own laundry.
* Cook for themselves.
* Stick to a budget.
* Negotiate a salary.

About that salary – go ahead and ask for more money – as long as you can justify what you are bringing to the organization is worth the increase. (It's not about you. Make it about them.) Most employers will at least counter by meeting you halfway.

While the working world emphasizes "teamwork," there is something to be said for a little independence. Embrace your kids, tell them this will always be "their home away from home," then hand them a helmet.

Culture and Manners Institute