Author Topic: Dear Abby: Negotiating contracts  (Read 5000 times)

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ljh007

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Dear Abby: Negotiating contracts
« on: May 21, 2008, 07:32 pm »
The following has been posted on behalf of a member who wishes to remain anonymous:

Quote
Dear Abby:

I recently received a job offer from a company that is non union.  The offer is not even close to a realistic wage for the job offer, and doesn't come with travel or housing.  Does anyone have any advice for negotiating this?  I have a feeling if I just lay my cards on the table it's going to be too much for them, but I also feel like they need a bit of a wake up call . . . if they are advertising the job to out of town stage managers, they should probably provide travel, housing, and a decent wage.

I really want to work on this production and for this company.

ljh007

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Re: Dear Abby: Negotiating contracts
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 07:35 pm »
How out of whack is the pay? Less than half what you'd consider "reasonable"?

I've encountered situations like this before, and my response is usually just to walk away and look for the next gig. It's not my job to realign the finances of the theatre. I certainly tell them the reasons I can't take the job - low pay, no travel allowance, whatever - but then I move on and try not to think about it too much. Maybe I'm just cynical/lazy?? 

What have others done when you encounter an offer way out of range? Have you been able to successfully meet in the middle?

Meg_23_c2o

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Re: Dear Abby: Negotiating contracts
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2008, 10:11 am »
I've always been fairly successful in negotiating the points I need.  There's always a lot of give and take, but I have yet to find a company that won't work with me on it.  I would ask politely if there's anything else they can do for you in the way of housing and travel pay; if you can prove to them that you're worth what you're asking for, I would hope they would try to reach a compromise.  If they can't or won't, I would agree with ljh007; pass on it and look for the next one.
Superman can leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Stage managers have to lift up the buildings so everyone else can walk under them.

theatreannie

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Re: Dear Abby: Negotiating contracts
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2008, 12:48 pm »
I just had to negotiate for a job.  I really wanted the job but had to leave 2 weeks early (after the show had opened) and I managed to get what I needed by providing a solution to the problem instead of just a problem. 

I guess what I'm saying is politely suggest a counter offer and see what they say? Say you need a bit more money and some help with travel. I think as long as you aren't rude you should be able to ask for what you need.

The worst that can happen is they say no.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Dear Abby: Negotiating contracts
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2008, 02:17 pm »
This is a business, and you have to figure out what you are worth in the market, and market yourself.  Can you live with lesser salary, if housing and travel is taken care of? 

Figure out how much you need, for example, without housing and travel?  Then figure out how much you would need with housing and travel? 

Figure it out and give them the options, but prepared to pass on the job.


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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

chops

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Re: Dear Abby: Negotiating contracts
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2008, 05:26 pm »
There is also the dirty little secret in some companies that you put out an offer that is a low ball.  Most places have some room to move around on the salary.  I wouldn't put out a large salary for a job if I think that someone just as qualified would do it for less.  I would low ball the position and work my way up to a salary that works for me and the right candidate for the job.  Then again many smaller companies put out a number and stick to it.  but definately give negotiation a shot.  Win or lose you still gain some experiance at the table. 
Peace,

Chops

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