What’s Your Antidote to the Fear of Loss?

Twice in the last three months, I’ve missed out on paying work, losing in the end because I was too expensive.

Too what?

The client had a pay scale, or a spreadsheet somewhere that dictated how much they were prepared to pay for my time.

On or below that line, and I was in. One penny above, and I was out. Simple. Case closed.

The bottom line was the expense they would incur by hiring me.

I had been reduced to a cost.

They (and I) had failed to consider: How much profit or benefit would they make by hiring me? (It’s a skill I haven’t yet mastered, obviously.)

You will often hear someone moaning about the shortage of engineers, the lack of technical skills, young people don’t want to go into engineering anymore, it’s holding back the company’s growth, it’s holding back national growth, etc, etc.

But put that together with the experience most people have when negotiating salary in a new job, and it is clear:

The biggest concern in the minds of most companies hiring engineers is a negative one.

How much is this individual going to cost me? How much do I stand to lose?

Fear of Loss (FOL) is a dominant motivator when people are making buying decisions.


More important even that the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), let alone the Desire for whatever benefit the transaction stands to bring.

Overcoming the Fear of Loss

To seal a deal for a new job, then, you’ve got to overcome the Fear of Loss in the minds of the people hiring you.

You won’t be doing just yourself a favour. You’ll be doing your client or hirer a favour.

It follows, then, that companies and countries with a perceived “shortage of talent” really have a much bigger problem.

They walk into every negotiation overly gripped by Fear, and insufficiently motivated by Desire.

Don’t you be like that.

For your own sake, certainly. But also for the sake of the people who want to hire you.

Have a Good Value Proposition

Be prepared, instead, with a value proposition of how much they stand to gain by taking you on.

And if you find that nothing you say will overcome that Fear of Loss in your client’s mind, then it’s worth asking yourself:

Is this deal worth it to me?

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