The Name’s Bond. Robin Bond.
If you need a job, it’s probably a good bet that the last thing on your mind is negotiation. After all, the rent or mortgage payment comes around faithfully every month, and it’s also nice to be able to eat something from time to time. But if you step back and look at it objectively, job and career changes are in fact critical times for negotiation. Life changes like that are for the long-term, so why not try to make that term as long—and profitable—as it can be?
Of course, it’s hard to step back and look at things objectively when that rent, mortgage, or whatever is breathing down your neck. That’s where Robin Bond comes in. When the going gets tough, Robin gets going; successfully representing CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CIOs, and other key employees throughout the United States in a variety of high-stakes employment and business matters.
So how did she get from her college major in TV journalism to a high-powered employment lawyer and author whose published work was recently named Book of the Quarter by SAP Corporation’s Business Women’s Network?
Well, as is so often the case, she started out as a child. But even then it seemed like she was destined for fame. She grew up in the “Cradle of Quarterbacks,” Beaver Falls, Pa.; home to such sports luminaries as Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Dan Moreno, and Joe Montana. Though Robin has an appreciation for accomplishments such as these, she “got out of there as fast as I could” to join a cousin—who was on a football scholarship, no less—at Indiana University in Bloomington. But he and Robin were in good company, as Mark Cuban, now the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theaters, Magnolia Pictures, and Chairman of AXS TV cable network, was also a student there.
Robin majored in journalism with a desire to write for television. Armed with her degree, but wet behind the ears, she joined her boyfriend in Los Angeles to seek her fortune. Very, very few fortunes are created in one’s early years in the media business. When she was offered a great job at NBC, her excitement turned to disappointment when she learned of the pay scale. Her cost to commute actually exceeded her paycheck. When she registered her unhappiness over this turn of events, the interviewer suggested that she make herself more valuable by going to law school. So off she went, earning her J.D. at the University of Pittsburgh.
Things change, and Robin was hitting her stride. She became a Judge Advocate General (JAG) for the Air Force, presenting criminal cases and negotiating labor union contracts with the military. In the early ‘80s, medical law was in its infancy, but she landed a position at the Surgeon General’s office to learn everything about the brand new field. And learn she did! During her time there she handled medical malpractice claims, drew up paperwork covering “informed consent,” and the oversight of clinical trials and clinical investigations. She took a job working in-house for hospitals, and began to blaze new trails in the mid-‘70s when the infamous Karen Ann Quinlan “right to die” controversy became news. As the repercussions of the case swept through the medical industry, Robin was working through similar cases involving people who refused life-saving treatment, or situations that involved abused children.
In her experience working with patients, hospitals, and corporations, she noticed that the quality of legal representation for corporations was often superior to and more powerful than that of individual employees. So she started her own firm, Transition Strategies, with a very specific mission: To negotiate tactics to help people with job offers, severance packages, non-competes, equity ownership, 401K structuring, stock options, and pretty much anything else that falls under the heading, “Trouble with the boss.”
“Not everyone can afford me,” laments Robin, but she has made her wisdom and experience available to just about anybody for the paltry sum of about $10—the cost of her book, How to Negotiate a Killer Job Offer. It has such an impact on corporate hiring that her old classmate and über-entrepreneur Mark Cuban wrote the foreword.
In answer to my question, “What do you get out of doing your job?” Robin told me that in one instance, her son’s friend was diagnosed with a brain tumor and lost a lot of work during the chemo and radiation. His Fortune 500 employer promised to hold his job open, but when he returned to work, they broke that promise. Buried in medical bills, he and his family were in dire straits. Within three hours of receiving Robin’s firmly worded letter, the company welcomed her son’s friend back with open arms. She smiles slyly, “I got to use my journalism skills!”
Sounds like journalism is just one of her skills. Robin and Leanna, her partner of five years, love their time in Rehoboth. “It’s the perfect break from work,” she says.
Bob Yesbek is a Rehoboth Beach resident. Email Bob Yesbek.