About Us


To develop more enthusiastic staff members and lower turnover by improving the engagement and productivity of company leaders, managers, and employees. To empower individual professionals to advance in their careers with agency, purpose, and direction.



To provide curious, engaging, and dynamic trainers and coaches with uncompromising focus on people, needs, and adding value.



Practicing our work with authenticity, respect, curiosity, and collaboration. We believe that people have reasons for their actions, which are based on their needs and motivations. Therefore, the better they truly understand their needs and motivations, the better actions they will take.



Not one of Tad’s job searches has been “traditional.” When he graduated from college, none of the companies he wanted to work for came to campus. When Tad graduated from business school, again, none of the companies he wanted to work with came to campus. When he made a change mid-career, there was no campus to come to. The typical approach—pinpoint company, schedule informational interviews, have a job interview, get hired—didn’t work. (Tad earned a BS in Communication Studies from Northwestern University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.)

When Tad joined the world of conflict resolution as a mediator and negotiation coach and trainer, he realized that he had used collaborative negotiation techniques to find and land jobs. He had successes as a media planner for DDB advertising in Chicago, a yield management and pricing manager at Northwest Airlines (now Delta) in St. Paul, a partner marketing director at Starwood Hotels (now Marriott), a mediator and commercial programs director at MWI in Boston, and an adjunct professor of negotiation at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University, as well as a negotiation coach for last-minute consulting with TalkSupport. (FYI, Tad has also been a landscaper, a stagehand for a ballet company, a recycling operations intern — he sorted trash while learning the business, an intern at Citibank, and an entrepreneur and artist with kinetic sculptures.)

Two colleagues, Justin Wright and Carly Inkpen, had had the same realization as they looked at their past and emerging careers. Together, they developed an approach to job seeking and career development based on the research and practice of interest-based negotiation out of the Harvard Negotiation Project (which published Getting to Yes). They’ve also written a book (Own the Job Hunt – renamed from End the Job Hunt) and are aggressively using their negotiation skills to collaborate with publishing companies and get it into the world. (They’re close!)

After building their practices working with individuals, they decided to adapt their approach to help companies improve employee engagement. They focus on employees’ motivations and drivers to understand and address what is important to them to fully engage in their roles, and dedicate themselves to the company and its goals.

In 2015, Ron joined Career Negotiations as Operations Manager. As Tad coaches and trains, Ron runs the back office, making sure projects get done, the business moves forward, and reliability is upheld.

Tad is president of Career Negotiations. He is also a career coach, trainer, and speaker, as well as an executive coach; empowering professionals to advance.

Tad comments on part of his career story:

What Tad Does.

Why Tad Became a Career Coach. 

Why Tad Co-Wrote a Book.


Ron is the Operations Manager responsible for all of the back office operations.

Who We Work With

Career Negotiations works with both companies and individuals. Here are examples of engagements with each.


Toni had been working in nonprofit work for four years and had no idea what she really wanted to do. Although focusing on the mission instead of profit was fulfilling, she felt discouraged and underpaid. She knew she liked to lead teams, empower people, facilitate their personal improvement, mentor, and coach. We expanded her list of drivers into an “interest profile.” She then met with people close to her in her network to generate professional options that would satisfy her interests. After prioritizing those options, she met with people in those fields to find out more about them and how to gain access. Finally, she focused on a role in a specific field and networked with her past connections to gain referrals to decision makers. She eventually landed a job heading a team in financial services marketing that put her on a fulfilling career path.


A mid-sized Human Services company was growing fast and looking for ways to engage its employees. They focused on the “Soar in Place” strategy, in which managers of different areas of the business are challenged to become “intrepreneurs” (entrepreneurs within a company) to find new opportunities within their business areas to both achieve the company goals and the managers’ professional aspirations. Career Negotiations ran a series of workshops to get the managers exploring initiatives in that area of overlap, working through the steps to success, and identifying necessary resources to be provided by the company. Next steps are to train and coach managers in each of the steps to success, work through any roadblocks, and measure their progress.


“I wanted to let you know that I had my interview yesterday and everything went great! It was the first interview I’ve had where I really felt comfortable going in. I was offered the job!”

A Career Coaching Client

A Fortune 100 Company

What's unique about Career Negotiations?
We believe that every interaction in your career development is a collaborative negotiation. Successful negotiation is based on understanding your own drivers (needs, motivations, and aspirations), as well as theirs. The foundation of our work together is identifying your drivers so that you can forge the right career path. After you uncover your drivers, you find that path by collaborating with others (networking). Each conversation has the opportunity to create value (information, connections, leads, etc.). And the more value you create for others, the more champions you will have in your network and the more value you will receive. The negotiation mindset in a job search means you understand what’s important to you, you work with others to find the best direction for you, and then you work with them again to get referrals and recommendations to hiring decision makers. It’s all about drivers and value creation.
How do you reduce company turnover?
We reduce company turnover by re-engaging employees in their roles and jazzing them up about the company. We work in three specific areas: 1) training early professionals to effectively network internally for successful advancement, 2) training & coaching managers to identify initiatives that advance company goals and their own personal professional aspirations, and 3) coaching executives to overcome roadblocks.
How do you empower professionals to advance?
We empower professionals to advance by coaching individuals to understand what they want to do, learn how to gain access to it, and interview well to get it. Many people figure out the role they want and just start applying for it. Without taking the time to understand how to gain access to that role, the interviews will be hard to get, and even harder to succeed in.


  by Tad Mayer - ​​Imagine you are interviewing candidates for an open position. In your role, it’s important to you to improve your department and leave a legacy of having developed a new area of business for your company....


by Tad Mayer - ​​​​​​​You’ve been working in your position for a while and your boss has not offered you a raise. How do you bring it up? What do you say? Below are 10 tips to help you successfully discuss a salary increase....


by Tad Mayer - ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Let’s say you go to a meeting and find yourself sitting at a round conference table with nine other people.  The moderator of the meeting says, “I will give a prize of one thousand dollars to each of the first two people who can persuade...