Hey PerC-lets :3
It has been a while since I started a thread (and usually I made them in the INFP-section). However I can use some insight, especially maybe from some ''older'' members.
Older ... erm, I mean, i'm starting to get of age as well concerning the general demographics on this platform. Let's just say that I just turned 27 last week.
Time for a lot of Context, because you have too much time on your hands anyway of course, I will have a set of questions at the bottom of this text-wall to go with:
[TL;DR - I put too much leverage and overplayed a bit on negotiations at work. Instead of an Offer, Now I got a premature No Deal on a new employment contract]
As an ENFP it is easy to get others the things they want to have or say the things they want to hear. Above 95% of the time we also sincerely mean all of that (that's important right). Now, i've always experienced imbalances when it comes to relationships, from my perspective. I know that that is partly due to my Enneagram-2 behaviour and tendencies. Over the last few years I've worked on that and also dropped a lot of people in my network that were more just ''work'' for me to maintain the connection. Nothing wrong with all that, but it is healthier for me. It became easier to stand up for myself and choose myself over others without necessarily feeling guilty or bad about it. It makes me love and appreciate myself a lot more! So yeah, I'm happy with that.
Now comes a whole other aspect of life where one should probably apply the same thing, Work / Employment. It is important to stand up for yourself and try to claim as much benefits as you reasonably can. However in a employer-employee relationship this is oftentimes super tricky and something one should treat very carefully. Also depending what is at stake for yourself of course. More often than not you just have to suck up to harsh realities and feel a little exploited, but hey, that's the case for more people.
I don't mind working hard and I always take my work seriously, I put in effort and I am very flexible towards my employer. However, I always end up feeling exploited and unappreciated. Then when I try to do something about it I end up overdoing a negotiation where I stick to my wishes and values and end up being shown the door. In the past I even experienced getting a raise because of my efforts, only having it to be revoked again because I couldn't work day-hours again. Well obviously I quit that job because it does not work that way.
Other times I work hard and end up having to leave my job because there is no work left to do or no FTE position to fill with someone with my background (marketing / market research / customer services / some sales).... (there's always work in Sales btw, but I refuse to do that because thats just not me).
It is never that ''rosy'' story where I work hard at my internship and get a nice job out of it afterwards. Or that I start somewhere and put in alot of effort and grow into a reasonable normal position for long-term period. By reasonable I mean something that is enough to sustain my myself. Especially nowadays the latter is super important because I desperately want to move out (again), though this time at my own expenses and not with student loans .
Today I basically failed to turn a temporary contract into a reasonable longterm contract. I worked via a job agency that basically earned a load of money over my back, as I was working for minimal wage. Now, work is work and money is money, nothing wrong with that - but you GOT to get yourself out of that situation rather sooner than later of course. So when I figured out my employer wanted to keep me and tried to prolong my work under the current shitty contract, I drew a line at some point and asked for more stability and higher wage. So I started negotiating with them.
I managed to talk them up to giving me a one-year contract and a salary that fits someone with my background and certifications. Well yay, sounds good! This happened after they kept trying to give me more work without even asking me, to which I declined and basically asked them to do me a solid proposal before I continue working.
Then later I learned that the job agency would release me if I kept working full time for one more month. OPPORTUNITIES! So yeah, I used that in the negotiations... all was looking bright from there on.
Sadly my bosses took their sweet time to come up with something after our 2nd meeting and the deadline I gave them passed. I know they really liked me and loved my work, also they really needed me. They never communicated to me, not to HR, not to anyone and another week passed. We ended up in a situation where there was no agreement and they still expected me somehow to come to work with the same conditions until they took their sweet time to offer me something. I know this company just wants to get their assess covered and whenever time is right they let people off (there were others before me). Besides that they were really messy with their timelines, as last month there was no work for me and they would let me go, then suddenly there was ''some'' work, and then suddenly they could offer me a year contract ..... right.
Anyway they were pissed off now because I did not go to work like I warned them so two weeks ago and last week. Sure, they may feel that I leveraged them too much, but it was something we agreed on, just not on paper. And the last thing is what it was about, I needed their commitment to me on paper, before I start to give out more flexibility and service to them. I already stayed longer in an sloppy oral agreement to help them out. Now it's still my fault because I don't do what they expect!? It is probably an unfortunate misunderstanding, but i'm not sure I trust them. I do respect myself too you know, i've been so reasonable. I mean there's more to it then I can even write here.
It doesn't really matter, I can get another nice job you know, one that is more interesting and pays better, but I really liked my colleagues A LOT and everything went super well. I thought if I could get a year contract with reasonable wage, I got progress with my personal life too (and they knew I was looking for that). However apparently it is too expensive and not how the employer wants it to go. My boss is a 25-year old ExTJ business shark that got into a nice position because she's close with the founders (small to mid-sized company). So yeah, surely she gets to learn a lot herself too, but it's absolutely dramatically overdone to go from very nice talks and a nice work atmosphere to a complete bail and sour ending. She also immediately threw me out of the WhatsApp group (people usually leave themselves after employment ends), so I must have really pissed her off. We never spoke again.
But seriously, have been so reckless and overplaying myself? I get that they get cheaper replacement and that the market is still in favour of employers getting to cherry pick their employees but, damn, I put in heart and soul and always did everything for them --- only to get dropped like that in a heartbeat from YaY to Nay. That's really sad. I get that work is work and that business relationships are just that, business. I just don't get it, don't I ever deserve it or something? I know plenty stories of my peers that get to grow in their work or get a nice position after an initial period.
That's fine and all and yes, one should only pay attention to oneself and one's own life. I do that, but damn, why does it always have to go so difficult like this with my life? I do my best but I have yet to get a break in that aspect. It seems lik some bad trend with me and work, while I think i'm reasonable, flexible, committed, consistent (I was never ill and barely ever late, while my colleagues were plenty).
This doesn't help at all in my self-training to get to be more assertive and get myself better deals. Whether that is in work or with personal relationships. I could easily have sucked it up and continue working until I finally get a better offer from my employer. But then again, I don't really trust them to care for my interests.
I can and will keep trying over and over again of course, that' life. Right now it's not a problem, but later in life there is more at stake and I have to watch out with these things, I understand that. It just feels so taken for granted and worthless towards me. I know i'm worth more and deserve better (and I also work hard for it). Nothing's for free and people don't just ''deserve'' stuff out of thin air, I get that, that is not my attitude. But all this .... I don't believe it, that's not how it is ''supposed'' to go. But that is another one of those things, life doesn't ever go as ''supposed''.
I'm not out here to blow this out of proportions either and get dramatic or depressed over it, i'm in a better mindset than that, but seriously, GIVE ME A BREAK. I'm trying to ''take'' my breaks :P - but that did not prove positive either haha.
In the end it's better for me because this company really did not have perspective for me nor paid enough, but at least I want to take this as a learning experience, because next time I might (a lot) more exposure in case things fail. Using Te can be a bit too radical , but I sure like it to use it to stand up for myself and get things done in life. In this case it is not so productive though ....
Some optional questions that you could use:
1) How do you guys go about things like these, either in personal or business relationships?
2) How do you balance being assertive for the self - versus - sucking it up to protect your other interests?
3) What were your successful and unsuccessful negotiations with people you had dealings with - or your employer?