An extraordinary negotiation

Confidence is not gained from simply listening to those who tell you to be so; it comes from being truly accepted as who we are. After reading a recruiter's post, I couldn't stop thinking of my personal life-altering negotiation experience.

A few years ago, I was struggling to settle back into my own home country after leaving my miserable life as a struggling artist in Europe. I had no prior experience for the position which I was applying for, no safe place to call my home, and neither did my family.

Yes, my life and survival mattered. Interviews? Much less.

I don't remember much about how I had all the interviews back then, but eventually, I successfully passed through the process and sat down at the table to negotiate my salary. Yay!

The HR lead asked me about my expected salary, and I answered by saying it was $$$.

She carefully asked me why.

I answered back saying "Because I got less than $$$ in my previous company"

She asked me if I was fully aware of my position and role.

I replied saying "Not sure."

She told me, "I've worked here for 20ish years; since the days when this company had only ten people around. Now, we're more than a thousand people with several global branches. We have now become the strongest player in the Korean market but not yet on the global scale. We need someone who can make our business grow across the globe; someone to take us to the US and European market, and we thought you were the one. Compared to the journey that we are asking you to navigate, your salary expectations seem quite low for us. We expect more from you, so please reconsider your salary expectations."

Since then, we sat down three times on the table for 8 months. At the first and second negotiations, I trembled at simply saying the numbers. But over the difficult conversations, I was getting to trust her as well as myself, and I was able to see more clearly about what I could contribute to the team. Yes, we had already become the team. At our final table, I was able to ask the number which was more aligned with the potential value I would make for the team.

Did she say yes? Sure.

After all that experience, I am still nervous and anxious while on the table. I am not sure what I am exactly going to do at the next company I negotiate my salary with. But one thing is for sure. Now, I am confident in my worth.

After we both signed my agreed contract terms, she told me "I have an indescribable feeling every morning when I reflect on my 20 years here retrospectively and what I've built in this company. I hope you will feel this when you join us on our global mission."

Am I confident?

Hell Yes.

Is it because of the "be confident" catchphrase?

Hell No.