Foot In The Door

They're offering one kind of work. You want another kind. Say, you want a contract and all you're seeing is direct. Or you want to work with databases but all your skills are GUI. It's hard to find just what you want, and you don't have a lot of time to sit around not earning anything, or strangling in a job you hate.

Therefore,

Don't tell them what you really need up front. Tell them you're amenable to the work they're offering. Come in for an interview. Now dazzle 'em. Make 'em realize you're the best interviewee they've ever had for this or any position. The market is a tough place - be a real sweetheart for them.

Then, when they offer, AlterTheOffer to include what you need too. Tell them you'll go ContractToHire? after a 6 month contract. Tell 'em you'll supervise GUI if you can work primarily in databases. Now they understand what you can do, if you're really something they need they'll find a way.


I can think of much more entertaining ways of wasting my time than by lying to HumanResources.

Who's lying? There's no lie here - you really are amenable to what they're offering, if they pay you more than they're probably willing to pay. This is your expectation, right? If someone pays you a vast sum to work in COBOL, you're likely to think about it even though you think COBOL is the pits. If you know a place has a COBOL group and a civilized group, and you can't get the civilized group to talk with you, there's no dishonesty in using FootInTheDoor with the COBOL group to get an intro.

You never know - they may even offer you what you want straight off the bat. And you may even decide to take the COBOL work if it has unexpected advantages. Negotiation is as much about changing your own expectations as it is about changing theirs. Think WinWin.


This, apparently, is a good way to get into the computer-gaming industry if you don't have much prior experience or a demo.


Let's try it this way:

You're offering one kind of work. They want another kind. Say, you want a contract and all you're getting is direct. Or you want someone to work with databases but all their skills are GUI. It's hard to find just who you want, and you don't have a lot of time to sit around not earning anything.

Therefore,

Don't tell them what you really want up front. Tell them you're amenable to the work they're interested in. Have them in for an interview. Now dazzle 'em. Make 'em realize you have the best position they could ever have. The market is a tough place - be a real sweetheart for them. This is the bait.

Then AlterTheOffer to include what you want. Tell them they'll go ContractToHire? after a 6 month contract. Tell 'em they'll supervise GUI if they will work primarily in databases. Switch.

Yes, that's the employer equivalent. If it's done during the negotiations, it's quite honest, if less than appealing from the candidate's point of view. But the candidate has many other options, and they can always AlterTheOffer themselves. If, as happens more commonly, the switch is done after the deal is struck, it's plainly dishonest and reprehensible. But that's not what's being advocated here.

BaitAndSwitch, though, is a phrase with a lot of negative baggage, which is why this pattern is now called FootInTheDoor.


Part of the NegotiatingPatternLanguage.

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