Episode 165 | Tackling The Fear Of Negotiation

In this episode, Dr. Cari Wise discusses the fear of negotiation when looking for a new job. 

She emphasizes the importance of approaching the job search and negotiation process with clarity and confidence. 

Job seekers are encouraged to dispel the myth that they have to accept any offer and instead approach interviews with curiosity and a clear understanding of what they want in a position. 

Dr. Wise advises job seekers to take the time to identify their preferences and deal breakers before going into interviews, and to negotiate for what they want, even if the initial offer does not meet their criteria. 

The importance of being their own advocates and finding a middle ground that satisfies both parties is also highlighted.

Key takeaways:

  1. Approach the negotiation process with clarity, confidence, and a willingness to advocate for what you want.
  2. Have a clear understanding of what you want in a position before going into interviews
  3. Remember it’s a two-way experience- potential employees want jobs, and potential organizations want employees. 
  4. Take time in making a decision and do not feel pressured to accept an offer immediately.

Vet Life Academy


Resource: Vet Life Academy




Website: https://joyfuldvm.com



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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos.

Hi there. I’m Dr. Cari Wise veterinarian, certified life coach and certified quantum human design specialist. If you are a veterinary professional looking to uplevel your life and your career or maybe looking to go in an entirely new direction, then what I talk about here on the Joyful DVM podcast is absolutely for you. Let’s get started. Hello my friends. Welcome back to another episode of the joyful DVM podcast.

This week we are going to kind of pick up on the topic that we were talking about last week when we discussed getting fired. And so this week we’re actually gonna be talking about tackling the fear of negotiation when you are looking for a new position. So sometimes as you can see, these things could go hand in hand. Whenever we’re looking for jobs,

it’s easy for us to believe that we have to accept whatever’s offered. And I really want to help dispel that myth today because there are some truths within any type of job search and negotiation that many of us just overlook because of our own fear in the situation. Especially if we are feeling pressure to find a job quickly, whenever we’re looking for a job quickly,

it’s usually because we have lost prior employment. So it could have been that we got fired, it could have been that our position was eliminated. It could be that we just hit our breaking point and we just needed to leave. Whatever the reason is, many of us get to a situation where we’re looking for a job and there’s an urgency behind it.

That urgency. I wanna just call forward that what that urgency comes from is a fear around money. And that’s an entirely different episode and probably its own class on how to deal with our own money stories so that doesn’t keep influencing the decisions that we make and the way that we engage in our lives. But for this episode, let’s just suffice to say that whenever we feel urgency to find a new position,

there is a fear that is creating that urgency. And for most of us, it’s going to be a fear around money not having the financial resources required to meet our financial obligations. When we are approaching our job search from urgency, then it’s very easy for us to just accept whatever’s offered without even taking a minute to recognize what else is happening in any type of employment situation.

When we are seeking a job and we are doing a job search, obviously we are looking for a new position, we are looking for an organization that will hire us and will pay us money to do a specific job that’s pretty cut and dry, pretty obvious to us as the job seeker, but what we don’t often consider and indefinitely we don’t consider deeply enough,

is that anybody who is posting an opportunity to hire, so anybody who’s looking for people to hire, they also are in a place of need. So not only do you need or want to find a job they need or want to find an employee, this is so important to remember, keep this in mind my friends, because if we forget that the places that we are applying to and interviewing with that they are also seeking to hire somebody,

we can get so caught in our own story about needing a job that we don’t negotiate strong for ourself, that we just accept whatever they tell us as the initial offer. And we believe that there is no room for any kind of adjustment or alteration to what is initially offered. And if we’re feeling a lot of pressure and a lot of urgency to find something fast,

many of us will start to compromise on what we really want before we even have an opportunity to consider and to question whether or not something different is available. And that’s the whole point of what I wanna share today. We want to remember that when we are looking for a new position, this is a two way street. Any interview process has two sides to it.

You as an employee looking for a position and them as an employer looking for an employee, both sides have things that they want to find in this relationship. So this is not a situation when you interview with somebody that you hope that you’re good enough that that they will give you a job, my friends, that never happens. People don’t give you jobs.

It’s not a matter of you being good enough to get the job that they have out there. They are looking for an employee. Are they going to choose you as an employee? And likewise, are you going to choose them as an employee? Do not forget, there are two sides to this interaction. When I really started to understand this, the way that I went into applying and interviewing for jobs completely shifted.

And that’s what I want for you. I want you to approach these interviews with curiosity. I want you to know upfront before you ever go in, what is it that you want in a position? What is it that you are seeking? Because the interview process is simply an opportunity for you to find out whether or not what you’re looking for is available to you with that organization.

The same is true on the employer side. An employer knows what it is that they’re looking for an employee in an employee. So when they communicate with you, it is an opportunity for them to understand whether or not what you have to offer is what they are looking to fill. There does not have to be any judgment or shame in any of this.

And so if we can remember that we are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing us, it takes a lot of pressure off of saying the right thing and doing the right thing and being the right thing because you don’t need to say do or be anything different than what you are. What you do need to know is what is it that you want,

which may be the hardest question that you’ll ever answer. What is it that you want? Do that work first so that you know whether or not what you’re being offered is going to be a good fit for you. So often we have this loose idea of what it is that we want in an employment position and we have this urgency to find something quick because we are scared about our money situation.

And so when somebody offers to pay us money to do a job and they outline what that’s gonna require, we automatically start negotiating in our own minds. Well, it won’t be that bad if I have to work five days a week, it won’t be that bad. If I’m on call two days every week, it won’t be that caught bad. If I have to work every Saturday,

if I get to be off every Thursday, it won’t be that bad. If it’s a 45 minute commute to get to the second hospital that they want me to work at one day a week, I could probably handle that. I could probably do that. It won’t be that big of a deal if I never get to do surgery, I can handle that,

I can deal with that and that kind of thing. Like we just automatically start negotiating and compromising inside of our own thought processes without ever considering that we actually can ask for things that are different and never considering whether or not what they have to offer lines up with what it is that we want. So we don’t wanna go into any kind of interview or application process blind.

And what I mean by blind is without knowing with clarity what it is that you want for yourself, you need to start out. The first phase of negotiating strongly is to find out for yourself to discover, to identify what it is that you want, independent of whatever job you might apply for. So what is it that you’re looking for? Are you looking for a position that only works with certain species and small animals,

large animals, exotics? Or are you open to a a variety of species, but you know for sure that you wanna make sure that you get to see birds? I don’t know the answer for that for you, but you will. So what is it that you’re looking for in regard to the species that you work with? What are you looking for in regards to how you practice?

Do you wanna do surgery for sure or do you not wanna do surgery? Do you like on-call work or do you not like on-call work? Do you wanna work at an emergency facility or not? How do you want those emergencies during the day to be handled? I’m not saying we’re gonna get a hundred percent of what we want, but we must absolutely be clear on what that is going in.

So how do you want your your day to work? How long do you want for appointments? Is there a minimum amount of time that anything less than that becomes a deal breaker for you? What would you like in regard to support staff? So whether you’re a veterinarian or veterinary technician or practice manager, whatever, what does the rest of the team look like?

Are you working with all un credentialed staff? Are you okay with that? Are you a a veterinary technician and everybody else is on the job trained and you’re the leader over those people? Is that okay with you? Like what is it that you want? Do you have some things that are deal breakers? Is are there pieces of equipment that without those you don’t wanna work somewhere,

something that you wanna know upfront? Are there hours that you want to stay within them when you work? So maybe you don’t wanna work until eight or nine o’clock at night. Maybe if they have a shift from 12 to nine, you know that’s not gonna be for you. So what are the hours that you wanna work? What are the days that you wanna work?

And then what kind of money do you wanna make? We all need to consider this before we ever go in. What kind of money do you wanna make? And I want you to be free to write down whatever it is that you wanna write down here, because my friends, even though it is often talked about, that there is a ceiling to what you can make in the veterinary profession,

I want you to challenge that to being true, especially in the day and the age that we live in now, where finding people to work in veterinary hospitals is harder than it has ever been before because there are fewer people than there are positions. There is such opportunity here for you to get exactly what you want or at least to ask for it and get closer to it than just accepting what is offered.

So you have to be clear what is it that you want when you have this outlined in advance, when you know in your mind what it is that you’re looking for, now you’re gonna go into that, that conversation, into that interview from a completely different place because you’re gonna see, wait, I’m here to gather information. I’m not here to make them like me.

That’s not what an interview is about. Your inter your goal in the interview is not to make them like you. The goal in the interview is for both sides to understand more about the other so that they can determine whether or not the relationship is a right fit. Either side of this situation. The employer or the employee either side can gather information that then leads them to identify,

Nope, this is not a good fit. That doesn’t mean that the person or the organization is bad, it’s just not the right fit for that pairing, and that is totally okay. But so many of us go into interviews because we are feeling urgency before because we are feeling afraid of not having a job, that we try to be who we think they want us to be.

And when we go into an interview from that kind of energy, we do not show up as ourselves. We do not show our strengths and we fail to get the information that we need to know whether or not the job is a right fit for us. Fear will have us making so many decisions that halt our progress in our lives. When you take the time to understand in advance what it is that you’re looking for in a position and you’re anchored in that when you go in,

you’re focused on that, you’re seeking that information, it makes the entire interview process so much easier because you can just be you my friends, you’re gonna take you wherever you go. There’s no need for you to try to be different than you are showing up authentically, being honest in your communication, in your answers, asking the questions that you need answers to,

to understand how that organization functions and what your role would be. Those are very strong skills to take in to any kind of interview situation. And it is those skills that will then allow you to negotiate strongly for yourself. Now, more often than not, we’re gonna be offered something that doesn’t meet all of our criteria. And at that point, you have some decisions to make when you have clearly what has been offered and you can compare it to what you were seeking,

you can start to see the gap and then you can ask yourself whether or not that gap becomes a deal breaker. So just to give you a very tangible example, if doing emergency call is a deal breaker for you and they come back and say, you’ve gotta do call three days a week, are you willing to do that? Well, if it’s truly a deal breaker,

the answer is no. You’re gonna move on and look for something else. If it’s a maybe, then I want you to notice that being on call wasn’t actually a deal breaker. But let’s ask ourselves another question. Why am I willing to consider taking call when I put on my list that it was a deal breaker? Because that answer to that question is gonna reveal a lot.

It might reveal your scarcity and your fear around finding a job, or it might reveal that because of all these other things that you get in this position, it’s a equitable trade off for you to be on call. Maybe the pay is beyond what you thought it was gonna be, maybe the bonus potential. Maybe it’s the support staff and the culture that you experienced during your interview.

Whatever it is, maybe there’s something that offsets that and makes it worth it to you. It’s okay to accept a position that doesn’t check every one of your boxes. What I don’t want you to do is take a position that checks none of your boxes because you’re afraid you’re never gonna find another job because that’s just a lie that your brain is telling you and it’s absolutely not the case in the world that we live in today.

So negotiating strongly know what you want going in, then listen to what they have to offer. Ask the questions that you need throughout the process to get the information that you need to make informed decisions for yourself. And when you come up against those areas that don’t meet the criteria that you want, but that perhaps the job overall is something that you’re still interested in,

this is your opportunity to tackle your fear of negotiating. This is your opportunity to ask for what it is that you want. So maybe they came back with a salary that is not what you were expecting, something that is well below what you have written down as the lowest amount you would take. What do you do? Many of us at that point,

we just write it off, say, okay, that job’s not for me and we move on to the next one. But you’ve missed all kinds of opportunity when you do that. If you’re just gonna give up on that job anyway, why not ask for more money? What’s the worst thing that they can say no? And if they say no, then you move on to another place.

But don’t move on without at least giving yourself the opportunity to explore the possibility. You may be surprised how much wiggle room you have. And we forget, especially when we are approaching the need for a job from urgency and fear, we forget that oftentimes employers are going to offer you lower than what they can actually pay. They’re gonna offer you less benefits than what they can actually provide.

They’re gonna offer you different schedules than what they might actually be willing to settle on. They’re gonna start out with what’s best for them. And then it’s up to you to come back and to identify where you need them to offer you something different in order to make this a doable kind of position. They’re not offering you what’s best for them because they’re trying to screw you over.

Let me be really clear about that. But in any kind of business, we want to make sure that the cash flow makes sense. And there are still a lot of businesses out there that are gonna low ball because they’re going to get some people who accept those offers. And so if just like I say, if you don’t ask for more money, you’re never gonna get it.

If they don’t start out low, then they’re never gonna hire the people at those lower wages. Now, I’m not saying that we should pay low wages. Please do not misunderstand what I’m saying. My whole point of this is just to see that nobody ever starts with the first offer in the place where they are going to land. That is the most important thing here.

So whatever you are offered right outta the gate, there is wiggle room there. Even if they say, this is our very best offer, if it’s not gonna work for you, then you ask for something different. The worst they can say is no. And my own personal experience over time is that it is never black and white with the first offer.

So you have to know going in what is it that you want? And also I want you to be to remember never to feel pressured to make a decision in the moment. This is part of tackling that fear of negotiating. So often, you know, we need a job, we want a job, we’re feeling urgency to find a job. And now we’ve got somebody who’s offering us a job and we may have a few more interviews lined up.

We may have some other things that we were planning to apply for, and now they’ve offered us a job and it’s not exactly what we wanted, but it would ease our financial burden much more quickly than if we interviewed at these three other places and we can make it work. And schedule’s not exactly right. And there’s a few things that kind of seemed a little bit weird,

but there’s no perfect place to work, so I might as well just go ahead and do this because this one’s right in front of me and they’re offered me a job. And so we just accept it and we get into it. And then all those things, there were these little signals on the front end. They’re all right there in front of us now.

And the next thing you know, we’re back to looking for another job. So what I’m offering you and what I’m trying to encourage you to do is to slow the whole process down. Know what you want in advance. Take what they offer, like interpret, receive under, understand what they’re offering you, but don’t accept it. If it doesn’t fit,

go back, continue the conversation. This is not a one-sided decision. It comes from both sides. So when they make you an offer, what are they saying? What they’re saying is, we want you to work for us. That’s what that offer says. That offer says, we want you to work for us. Okay, now you’ve got more data.

Even if the parameters that they put in that offer do not match what you want from an employer, you now at least know that they want you to go to work for them. Wonderful. Now you look at what they’ve offered, you compare it against the list of what you want, you find the gaps and you decide which one of these things or several of these things,

these are important for me to negotiate which one of these things as is our deal breakers, but wouldn’t be if they were different. A lot of times it’s gonna come down to salary and schedule. So look at those things, start there. And if you see that what they offer you is a no, like you just aren’t gonna do that, then that’s your opportunity to have a conversation back with them.

Even if they can’t meet your requests. It is valuable for employers to get this feedback from potential applicants because even when we turn down a job, it helps the organization to understand what the marketplace is like as far as workers. It helps them to understand what this, what veterinary professionals of this day and age require in order to come to work for them.

So don’t underestimate the influence that you have and the contribution that you make to our entire profession. When you negotiate for yourself, you’re not required to receive, to accept what they offer you the first time. I know I’ve already said that, but I feel like we need to say this again. You’re not required to accept what is offered to you straight out.

Give yourself some time, thank you for the offer. I’m gonna consider that I will get back to you in 24 hours or 48 hours or whatever amount of time you need. And then consider what they’ve offered you. Look at what you want, find the gaps and decide where are you going to go back and ask for more or ask for something different.

Don’t be afraid to ask for it. Now, even if it’s not a deal breaker, my friends, even if where they’re at is good enough and you’d accept it, but you’d really like it to be a little bit more still negotiate, still go back and ask for what you want. The worst thing that they can say is no. And now some of you listening to this may hear,

hear this, and hear and be thinking to yourselves. But Cari, if I go back and I know I would’ve accepted what they offered, but I asked for something more, what if they decide they don’t wanna hire me? What if they just take the the offer off the table altogether, my friends? If that happens, that is some of the best information than you could have received because you wanna ask yourself a better question.

Do you wanna work for an organization that’s not willing to have a conversation around compensation for their employees? Do you wanna work for an organization that says this is it, take it or leave it. And if you say, can we talk about it? And they say no and shut the door, is that where you wanna work? Because my friends, the way they do any kind of interaction with client or with potential employees is probably the way that they’re interacting with all kinds of people with throughout their entire practice.

It tells you a lot about the practice itself during the negotiation phase. So just realize that even if you go back wanting to have a conversation to negotiate on the terms that they’re offering you, if that shuts down the whole conversation, you have just dodged a bullet in my opinion. You do not want to work for an organization that is unwilling to have conversations with you because you are going to need to have conversations with your employers all throughout your employment about all kinds of things.

Your pay, your hours, your coworkers, culture, policies, procedures, things that go sideways, everything you have got to be able to communicate. And if their response is to shut the door and say, Nope, take it or leave it, move on, move on. Because there are other jobs out there and there is no situation bad enough in my opinion,

that we take something that’s so obviously compromises ourselves. Do not be afraid to negotiate on your own behalf. You are the greatest advocate for yourself. You’re the only one who is going to advocate strongly for you. It is not up to them to offer you what’s best for you. It’s up to them to offer what’s best for them. It’s up to you to ask for what’s best for you.

And somewhere in the middle is where you’ll meet with employers that are aligned with the type of organization that you wanna work with. The ones that shut the door, the ones that in the conversation that’s probably not a great fit and rarely is. And yes, I know sometimes we need to take jobs because we believe that our financial needs really just require us to take the first thing that comes.

If you do that, I want you just to make sure that you have an out. And so look at what else they’re requiring of you. Are they asking you to sign a non-compete? My friends, in this day and age, I wouldn’t sign one. I’ll be just straight up honestly and give you my opinion. I would never sign a non-compete in this day and age.

Never. They’re very difficult to uphold. They’re just scare tactics. And when I look at a non-compete now, and I look at organizations that really force their employees to sign non-competes and say that they’re not allowed to work with them if they don’t sign one. Do you know what that tells me? That tells me that that organization is afraid. That they’re afraid of losing their client base,

that they’re afraid of losing their employees to other people. And if we are trying to hang onto our businesses through fear tactics, we are never going to grow. And we are never gonna help the people that we are here to help. When we feel comfortable and solid and confident in what we provide as an organization, then we don’t have to use fear tactics to keep our people and to protect our client base because our people stay and our clients are loyal.

So in this day and age, I would never sign a non-compete. And if somebody’s really trying to get you to sign one, ask a better question, what’s going on here that they’re hanging so tightly to this idea of a non-compete? What are they afraid of? And do I wanna be part of that? I would also not work for an organization that doesn’t provide some kind of assistance toward continuing education in this day and age.

Oh my gosh, that is so common. So if they aren’t providing that, let’s figure out why. And if they just won’t, then see if you can adjust your salary to make sure that you have enough to cover those things for yourselves. These are just a few of the little things that I want you to think about when you’re looking for a new job.

And if you do find yourself in a situation that you have to take a job that’s not ideal because of financial reasons, make sure you have an easy out and make sure, make sure you don’t stop looking. I would much rather you go a little longer and take a job that feels right than be terrified and grab the first job that offers you something without giving yourself the opportunity to explore what is available for you.

My friends, there are no wasted challenges. So even when we find ourselves all of a sudden looking for another job or looking for another job outta necessity because something in our current job has changed and we don’t wanna stay there anymore, even when we’re going through this, even when we’re going through a period of maybe not being employed, I want you to remember there are no wasted challenges.

All of this is happening for a reason. There are things for you to learn here. This is all pushing you in the direction that you are meant to go. And if we fight the process and we don’t learn from our experiences, odds are we are going to just keep repeating them. So give yourself time to really evaluate everything that’s going on in your job situation.

And when you are ready to start looking for a new position, start out with asking yourself those questions about what it is that you want, because that is the most important starting point for you as an employee. Then as you apply for positions and you interview for those positions, keep in mind that this is simply an information gathering system. You are trying to find out if they have what you need,

and they are trying to find out if you have what they need. The perfect match comes when both sides can identify strong points in the other candidate, right? When the employers are like, yes, that’s what we’re looking for, and you’re like, yes, this is what I’m looking for in a job. That doesn’t mean that every single point on either side what you want and what they want.

It doesn’t mean that every single point in every single box is gonna be checked and the best negotiations. Both sides come out pretty happy with what they get. And also identifying where they maybe could have done a little bit better. And that kind of just slight questioning, that’s perfect place to be because there’s probably not a situation where we’re gonna, both sides are gonna check a hundred percent of the boxes,

but it is critically important for both sides to know which boxes are most important, which boxes are deal breakers. And if we find discrepancy in those areas as those potential employees, we absolutely must negotiate hard for ourselves. Be willing to ask the questions because you will miss 100% of the opportunities that you never try to pursue. Do not accept a no as a no without coming back and asking,

is it really a no? Is this really the salary? Can I do? Would you be able to do this? Give them a dollar amount back, even go higher than what you would accept, because there will be a negotiation, a back and forth, a place that you’ll land in the middle, but if you don’t even try, you are going to go into those jobs feeling resentful for what you’re getting paid.

And that is no way to start a new adventure. It absolutely will not set you up for long-term ex success in any position. All right, my friends, I hope that this episode has been helpful for you if you’re considering finding a new job or finding a new employee. Of course, if you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out at to us over here at Joyful DVM.

And that’s gonna wrap it up for this week. Bye for now.