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She conceded the negotiation without even starting it. Preparation is critical to any negotiation. She learned that one executive had indeed been given permission to work remotely for six weeks while he was helping to manage a family illness. How do they like to receive news or special requests? Do they want a lot of advance notice? Do they want you to present a solution or to develop one with you? But she knew that he tended to resist unconventional ideas and practices; he liked the usual way of doing things.

Charlotte, too, realized early on that she had an uphill climb because Michael, the division president, already had a favorite in mind, but she learned as much as she could both about the job requirements and the qualities Michael valued most in his employees and about his decision-making style. Interdependence gives people a reason to negotiate. So look at how your work enables your counterpart and others to succeed; that will help you discern what he or she values in you and assess yourself in a currency that matters. All this gave her leverage. Negotiations require creativity.

Instead consider what matters to your counterpart and find multiple ways to satisfy both of you. In developing options, it helps to think what good reasons your counterpart might have for saying no to an arrangement you propose.

Kamala Harris Makes Her Case

These are on the hidden agenda of any negotiation. Charlotte knew from her information gathering that Michael would probably balk at her youth and inexperience in comparison with his favored candidate and suggest that she needed more seasoning in her current role before taking on a new one. Marina was sure that Robert would be concerned about breaking from precedent, the incremental expense of a flexible arrangement, and losing touch with her and her division. So she rejected ideas that would heighten those concerns—such as working from home and coming in to headquarters only for meetings—and focused on ones that would assuage them, such as splitting her time between her old divisional office and HQ.

She also pulled together a spreadsheet of estimated expenses. Any two people typically feel asymmetrical desires to engage in everyday negotiations. How can you shift a normal interaction into a collaborative rather than combative negotiation? Start by making your value visible. She first reviewed her results since their previous meeting and updated him on a recent acquisition.

Only then did she mention her problem and begin to talk about ideas for solving it. If the other party stonewalls, you can consider various tactics. One is to round up allies who will vouch for your value and encourage the person to negotiate with you. Marina chose this path.


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You might mention yours and then retract it. For example, Marina could have told Robert that she was getting calls from headhunters which was true but then quickly noted that she was committed to staying at the company if he and she could work out a plan. Three types of questions can help the two of you develop a plan that works for everyone. How would that work? What if you had the opportunity to be involved in certain divisional meetings? Instead, turn the conversation to get it back on track.

What can I do to ease those concerns? Another turn that works against almost any move is to interrupt the conversation by sitting silent for a brief period, standing up, or moving to get a glass of water. Research shows that when you break the action, people rarely revert to the same negotiating stance, and the pause can lead to breakthroughs. Circular questions, which simultaneously introduce and gather information, ensure that the conversation is collaborative, not adversarial. They emphasize the relationship between you and your counterpart and often unearth deeper issues at stake.

Recruiters interview college students with disabilities early in the year for summer intern positions. If you are interested in an internship, make sure you ask your employer at the interview about the specific tasks and projects you will work on. You should expect to spend some of your time doing administrative work like filing, but you should also get a sense of a real opportunity to learn on the job. Temporary employment can be a good bridge to permanent work.

You register with a temp agency that can then place you in short-term assignments in companies that need extra help. These assignments could last from a few days to several months and can sometimes lead to an offer of permanent work. By temping, you establish a current resume, sharpen your skills and test your own ability to return to work. Some people use part-time employment working less than hours a week to transition to full-time employment; other people find that they prefer working part-time to working full-time permanently. Part-time employment can give you more free time to take care of yourself and your responsibilities.

It may be more accommodating if you find that you need more time away from the office to handle your mental health condition. However, part-time employment usually pays less than full-time employment, and part-time work often comes without benefits. Many people with mental health conditions are able to work full-time. Full-time employment usually includes sick leave and may include health insurance, making it easier to handle health problems.

Company retirement plans for full-time employees enable you to grow your savings. You may want to look for government work, as local, state and federal employers have a good record of hiring diversity and respecting disability regulations. Finding employment, whether full-time or part-time, usually involves preparing your own resume and job-hunting in your local employment market. Job hunting can be discouraging for anyone, especially if job openings are scarce and there is a lot of competition. If you are having a hard time finding a job, you can look for help from an employment agency, supported employment services or close family members or friends.

It is important to have support while job hunting; seek it from friends, from a job-hunting club, a support group, or a peer-run drop-in center. Some people are not interested in traditional employment-working for someone else-but are able to work for themselves. You might want to start and grow your own business. Do you have a product or service that you can sell? Do you have a hobby or skill like jewelry making, baking, or playing and instrument?

Can you provide a service such as lawn mowing, pet-sitting, or writing and editing? Working for yourself enables you to set your own schedule, and avoids the problem of disclosing your condition that sometimes arises in the workplace.

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On the other hand, it demands self-discipline and for tax purposes, you need to track your expenses and income. To prepare yourself, develop a simple business plan that outlines what you plan to sell, your customers, your competition, and your expenses. Also, be sure to contact your state's vocational rehabilitation office for help with self-employment. If you have a mental health condition, you may receive Social Security or other government-funded disability benefits, or private disability benefits from a previous employer.

While disability benefits typically pay below a wage you would expect to get while working, they provide regular income. Remember, too, that eligibility for housing programs and the rent you pay may be affected by your income. Having a paying job or earning other types of income can affect your status in Medicaid or Medicare.

This does not mean you should be afraid to work, it means it is important to understand the rules before you work. While the interaction between Medicaid and Medicare can be complicated, under either program, you can earn a certain amount of money without losing your benefits. Because everyone's situation is different, you should always talk to a trusted and knowledgeable person who can help you understand your work options and how your choices will affect your benefits.

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Case managers at your mental health center also may be able to help. Ticket to Work is a voluntary and free program where people with disabilities receiving social security are helped to go back to work by a local employment network. Very few, if any, people make money doing these activities, and it may end up being harmful. A cell-phone enables employers to contact you quickly. If you visit family and friends and trust them, ask if you can use their address temporarily. Otherwise, you might want to consider getting a P.

Box from a local post office. If you do not have a car, you should always ask the places you're interested in working for if they are accessible by public transportation.

Carers NSW - Speak up for yourself

If you have been out of work or changed jobs frequently because of your mental health condition, your resume may reflect that. Highlight your skills first. Most people are used to a chronological resume, which shows the jobs you worked with your most recent job first. A functional resume displays your list of skills and qualifications before it shows a chronological breakdown of where and when you worked. Stress your skills, abilities and expertise first.

Be honest. One of the worst things you can do is lie in an interview or on a resume. If your employer finds out that you lied in the hiring process, he or she can usually fire you and leave you with no unemployment benefits. Be prepared. Know what you're going to say if or when your employer asks you why there is a gap in your employment. You do not have to disclose information about your condition during job interviews or when you are first employed.

If you're already working when you are diagnosed with a mental health condition, you may be worried about the effect it will have on your employment. You may wonder how it will be possible to manage your condition and balance your work, or you may worry if you can even keep your job. Many people with mental health conditions lead very fulfilling lives, and work can be a big part of that life. If your mental health condition affects your ability to work, you may need to ask for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act of ADA. The Act requires that many employers make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.

A disability is legally defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of a person, or a history or appearance of such impairment. You may have a disability as a result of your mental health condition. It is illegal to discriminate against an employee in the workplace based on a disability if a reasonable accommodation can be made. However, an employer doesn't have to make an accommodation if it would cause an undue burden-financial, administrative or otherwise-to the company.

Asking your employer if you can take two small breaks instead of one large lunch break might be considered reasonable if it doesn't interfere with your ability to help customers. Asking an employer to build you a soundproof quiet space if you work at a train station might not be considered reasonable. Some small organizations may also be exempt from ADA requirements based on their size.

Types of advocacy

Plan ahead before you bring up the subject of disability and reasonable accommodations. Make sure that you know what elements of your disability are interfering with what parts of your job and what specific steps you can take to address those concerns. Don't assume that because the ADA is the law that your employer will be familiar with its requirements or receptive.

Put your request in terms of help you need to keep doing a job for the employer, rather than a demand for an accommodation. It can be helpful to talk about your request with people who support you to get feedback and make you feel more comfortable. Despite efforts to educate the public about mental health and mental health conditions, you may still encounter prejudice from people who don't know or understand what you are going through.

If you think that your employer has illegally discriminated against you or violated your privacy rights because of your mental health condition, you should ask for help. However, you might feel uncomfortable in your workplace even if your employer hasn't done anything illegal. Maybe your co-workers are judgmental; maybe your work doesn't offer enough benefits for someone with your condition. Or maybe, you are feeling self-conscious or awkward in a new situation.

Give yourself time to get accustomed to work and the people you work with.


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  • Be friendly, but use discretion in how much personal information, such as information about your condition, you share with others. Remember that the primary relationship at work is with your supervisor; listen carefully to what your boss asks of you, and ask for guidance when you need help or are unsure. Get feedback on the things disturbing you at work by talking with trusted friends or a support group outside of work.

    You can suggest that your employer take steps to make your workplace more mental health friendly. Send your suggestions to your human resources department or your management team; many offices will have an anonymous suggestion box. Others might have a reward system in place for offering good suggestions.

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