Making a Job Move? Don’t Overlook the Negotiation Phase

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Consider these tips for maneuvering through the current candidate-driven job market.

Dubbed the "Great Resignation," a report by Monster.com found 95% of workers are considering changing jobs. Women—disproportionately affected by job loss during the pandemic—may have even bigger opportunities as demand for talent outweighs supply. Now's the time to reassess and do some soul-searching as you embark on a fulfilling job hunt and pave the way for a brighter future.

Once you've brushed off your resume and nailed the interview, consider the negotiation phase as another stage of the hiring process. Women are chronically underpaid (in 2020, 82 cents on the dollar compared to men, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), so this might be an opportunity to make up ground and get what you deserve.

Here are some do's and don'ts when considering a career move in this candidate-driven market:

Don't speak first when it comes to salary. Recruiters will often ask your ideal salary range during the screening process, but you don't have to give it. Do your research on sites like Salary.com, PayScale and Glassdoor first, then think about your worth.

Pro tip: Come up with your "wish," "want" and "walk" salaries. According to an article on CNN, "Wish is a high, specific number you open with; want is the actual target that is a little lower; and walk is the point in which the deal is no longer good for you."

Do consider vacation time. More companies are boasting unlimited vacation policies in their job ads, according to Indeed. And, while that may be your ticket—quite literally—the company culture must be able to support this kind of flexibility. (Some research shows employees with unlimited paid time off actually take less time for themselves on average.) Make sure leaders walk the walk by taking vacations and personal days, and that employees are not expected to always be on call.

Don't undervalue working remotely. One of the motivating factors employees cite for seeking a new gig is the appeal of virtual work. Many employees got a taste of it during the pandemic and aren't eager to return to an office without additional perks (some companies are creating outdoor workspaces, for example). Beyond cutting out the commute, working remotely offers the work-life balance many prefer.

Do think about what your new title means. Your title can seem arbitrary if the work environment and pay is what you've been after, but it could help shape your future career path. It's ideal if the title is elevated from your previous role and clearly describes your responsibilities. This will point your career journey in the right direction.

Don't hesitate to ask for a later start date. While recruiters often expect you to start as soon as possible (after two weeks' notice, of course), consider giving yourself a week or two "off" in between. Enjoy a vacation or something you rarely have time to do, like volunteering for your favorite charity.

The biggest do during this Great Resignation is to be open to opportunities that come knocking—and negotiate an employment agreement that you just can't say no to. Once you do, have a conversation with your advisor about boosting your retirement savings or investing in life insurance with your pay raise.


Once you land that new job, be sure to:

  • Assess what immediate impact you can make in your new role to prove your worth and boost your confidence.
  • Speak to your advisor about how best to save or invest your sign-on bonus or additional salary.
  • Evaluate your employer-provided 401(k) or IRA and determine how it fits into your overall financial goals.

Sources: cnn.com; fastcompany.com; hiringlab.org; npr.org

Article provided by Melissa Stewart, CFP®, AIF®, Senior Financial Advisor at ClearVista Advisors. Originally published by Raymond James & Associates here.


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