There are four different types of negotiator jobs: independent consultancy, working for a business negotiating company, crisis negotiator, and legal negotiating. The role of a negotiator remains the same, regardless of the industry. The negotiator uses discussion and diplomatic techniques to bridge differences, resolve conflicts, and find a mutually agreeable solution.
To qualify for negotiator jobs, you will need a minimum bachelor's degree from a university. Most negotiators have additional training in business, law, or psychology. Additional courses or certification in crisis management, human behavioral analysis, and communications can be very helpful with this career.
A growing number of negotiators open their own private practice. Working as independent consultants, they provide consulting expertise. There are very few firms that require a full-time negotiator on staff. This flexibility also allows the firm to hire negotiators with different areas of expertise, as required.
Many negotiator jobs are found by working directly for a business negotiating company. The company provides all the tools, resources, methodologies, and support staff necessary, regardless of the type of business negotiation required. This can include multinational contracts, union negotiations, mergers, or other large business transactions.
Crisis negotiators often work in the law enforcement or health services industry. They are called into situations where normal practices are unsuccessful. This can include hostage situations, armed stand-offs, or situations where the suspect is mentally unstable. The crisis negotiator has the skills and training to talk the suspect down so the situation can be resolved more peacefully.
Legal negotiations and mediations are becoming increasingly common as a alternative dispute resolution process. The negotiator is usually a trained lawyer who has taken additional courses in negotiation and mediation. These tools can be used in civil, divorce, and other types of non-criminal lawsuits.
People who report the greatest satisfaction in negotiator jobs enjoy helping people, problem solving and working independently. Successful negotiators keep a level head under pressure, are able to work with long hours as needed, and keep excellent written documentation. Most negotiators have significant working experience in other industries before starting a career as a negotiator.
Many successful negotiators build their practice through reputation. Skill, ability to meet client expectations and maintaining good business relationships are critical to a long career in negotiating. It is very important to keep your skills up to date, review changing styles, and focus on human psychology as the basis for all negotiating.