Salary negotiations for remote jobs are different than a traditional office-job. While salary is not something that should be discussed in a first interview, it's important to know what to ask for and when. Variables including location and cost savings can impact negotiating a salary for remote work.
- Ever negotiate a salary before? How about benefits? What would you do if the company you are interviewing with is in San Francisco and you are looking to work remotely in Montana? There are a few things you'll want to consider, like the cost of living where you are, or the going rate for someone with your skillset in your hometown compared to that of someone in their headquarters. Before going into the nitty-gritty details however, I do want to make an important point. It's not a great idea to ask about salary in the first interview. Asking about compensation up front shows you care more about the compensation than you do about the company and its mission.
With the small exception of just pure sales roles, employees that align with the mission of the company are generally more attractive to employ. Now, let's say for example that I was interviewing for a social media manager position that is remote, and I live in Montana, and the company is in San Francisco. I would want to know how much a social media manager makes in both places, along with the cost of living in both places. While I don't expect to make the same with someone living in San Francisco, because the cost of living is much higher, the ratio of salary to cost of living should be comparable.
If they offer me a smaller salary where that ratio is a bit off, I've got the data to back up and request more money. I'll also want to consider the savings associated with eliminating my commute, and the cost associated with using my own electricity, or paying for my own cell phone. Once I determine all the costs and savings, I'll have a good idea how much is left over in my bank account, and if the costs are higher than I expected, I might have some room to negotiate. If you're unsure what you really should be earning, sites like payscale.com, salary.com, and bls.gov, have salary calculators that will help you determine what you should be earning, and what you should be asking for.
Sometimes, a salary seems kinda sweet, that is until you start factoring all of your responsibilities. Take time to go over each and every job duty as it's been described, and then determine whether the salary being offered on the table is in fact comparable, or comes in too low. Then speak with your potential boss, and let him know that for all of that work, you believe the offer is a bit below market rate, and ask them to increase that offer. Yes, it is human nature to want to negotiate the biggest salary possible, but that might not be a reality, for now.
Look at the big picture, and determine if there are opportunities to grow inside the company. If there is growth potential, taking a job with a smaller salary now could lead to some larger earning potential down the road. You really just need to make sure that you're earning at least enough to sustain your lifestyle and be able to survive. Negotiating salary is something most people dread, but by knowing what your time, energy, expertise, and experience are worth, you'll feel more confident going into your salary negotiation, and coming out getting what you want.
So I say go for it. Remember to be nice and respectful, and just like my dad always told me, "If you don't ask, the answer is always no."
- Preparing for your remote job hunt
- Setting up a productive workspace
- Finding remote jobs
- Avoiding scams
- Crafting a remote resume
- Interviewing for a remote job
- Negotiating salary
- Staying motivated