After days of preparation and the interview you confidently aced as a result, you received incredible news: The remote job of your dreams is yours, and your employer is sending you an offer letter later today.
Congratulations! You're moments away from the fresh start you've worked so hard for. But one tricky conversation stands between you and your official acceptance: the benefits and compensation negotiation. This will be a critical step in every single job you accept throughout your career--but it's no easy feat. You might feel worried that you'll scare off your employer or appear demanding. After all, this is everything you wanted. What more could you ask for?
The truth is, no matter your situation or the job market you're navigating, the best thing you can do is negotiate. The worst thing that happens? Your potential employer says they're unable to make any adjustments, but you'll still have a job. The best thing? You start off your new opportunity with an augmented offer package that satisfies your desires. Oh, and you secure an immediate salary bump along the way. Through research and a thoughtful strategy, you'll be well positioned to advocate for what you deserve. Here's what you should do to prepare.
It's likely that your job title--or at least your job description--is not the only one of its kind. Start by searching the internet for similar job titles and salaries. Websites such as Glassdoor and Salary.com can also be guiding for requests like these. Anonymous forums like Reddit allow you the chance to ask the difficult question of how much real people with your job title and in your industry make, and what their experience and background entail. Remember: Even if you have the same job title, your job descriptions may vary. So as you survey for average salaries, see if you can glean any insight into what these people do on a day-to-day basis.
When it comes to negotiations, salary is just one of many important considerations. If possible, ask your employer for the most recent job description available (as these may change over time), or simply review the description you read when you first applied. Think about your desired career path.
Let's pretend you're being hired as a copywriter. Do you see yourself moving toward a senior editorial role in the future? Perhaps you'll want to request opportunities to provide insight into the strategic decision of the organization's website or publications. Express those needs by providing concrete examples of the kind of work you'd like to do, and explain why updating the job description to include those could benefit both you and your employer alike.
You'll also want to think about any challenges or obstacles that may inhibit you from doing your job well. For example, you may need a headset and/or backdrop for remote video calls. Will they purchase one for you? If conducting interviews is a major part of your role, will they provide you with recording equipment or transcription software? You'll want to ensure your company is prepared to provide the right tools to set you up for success, and while these may seem like smaller details, it's important to iron them out in the negotiation stage.
How does the benefits package look to you? While there might not be room for major changes such as the company's insurance plan or vacation policy, it might be worth considering your life and ensuring your schedule will work for you. For example, if you have children who must be picked up from school, do you have an opportunity to work from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm? Ask for what you need and, as with other considerations, explain how the requested changes will improve your performance.
Salary, benefits, and job description negotiation can feel awkward--but it is possible to negotiate in a way that not only positions you with everything you need from your new remote job, but also garners the respect of your future employer. Get savvy, stay prepared, and you're sure to sign an offer letter that's ripe with all you need to succeed in your new role.
Looking for more advice on working remotely? Check out our newest book, 30 Hacks for Productive Remote Workers, part workbook and part guide that will help you work smarter, not harder. Oh, and did we mention that it was written by remote workers for remote workers? This advice is tried and tested, and we know it will help you maximize your productivity.
Photo by Amy Hirschi
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