Last week I shared some of my views about the seeming recovery of the remote job market, but also why some people are still having a frustrating job search experience.
Today I'm telling you about remote careers. Especially inspired by a couple questions I got yesterday, in the last live sessions of Cohort #1 of the Remote Jobs Braintrust.
The question was:
• How can I get promoted, in a remote job?
But in fact, the question is deeper than that. Getting promoted implies you're staying in the same company for a long period of time. Some people do that, but some people don't.
The higher level question behind that is:
• How can I grow my career, in remote work?
We're getting ready to onboard Cohort #2, on the 13/November. There are still seats available, and you can join here. But in the meantime, let me answer this important question here, just like I did in the live session yesterday.
There are 2 important factors that contribute to a successful remote career:
You must do great work
There's no way around this. You'll need to create value for your current company. It's your current manager who will justify the budget to raise your salary. It's also your current manager who will pick up the call of a future employer for a reference check call.
If you leave a trail of valuable contributions, happy colleagues who learned from you, and happy managers who enjoyed your work. That increases your odds of getting a salary raise, having future opportunities coming to your via referrals, or simply having positive reference checks in a future job search process.
Also, good work creates learnings and stories that you'll tell in future interviews, and that will shape your future roles. Don't shy away from putting in the effort and doing great work. I compounds.
You must get a higher offer
Now this is where many people get it wrong, and it's where I started my answer yesterday. If you're coming to your manager and you ask for a raise, you must have something to show.
The first thing you must show is great work that created value to your company, of course, as I described above. But with that, your manager might wonder... "Well, but if you produced all that value, earning this $60k/year salary, why should I raise you to those $100k/year that you're asking for?"
It's a fair question, and it boils down to the risk of losing you. If you're doing great work, the company doesn't want to lose you. But if you don't come in with a strong BATNA, you'd be bluffing if you suggest you'd leave if you don't get the raise you're asking for.
My experience tells me that the best way to grow your salary is to look for another job. Even if you're happy with your current job. In fact, especially in that case. You can afford to do a job search and go to a few interviews without any pressure. You'll shoot the salary expectation to the starts, because why not. And you might land an offer on the table.
Now, if you're happy in a job that pays you $60k, and you get an $100k offer for another job. What will you do? Well, welcome to one of life's best problems!
You go back to your manager, and you say you'd be very happy to stay if they match this offer you have on the table. Many times, they give you a counter offer. In the end, it's up to you. You can stay or you can leave to the new job. But you came out stronger from that process. Way stronger than if you simply beg for a raise.
Actually, the reason I'm telling you this, is because this is the number #1 reason I get my offers rejected. Many times people get their current company to match the offer, and they decide to stay there.
I learned this is much more common in remote work than it was back in the office days. Mostly, because those of us who live in low cost of living regions are leaving a lot of money on the table. Salaries indexed to location are becoming the norm in remote work, and they cause companies to spend below their originally approved budget for certain roles.
By getting a higher offer and demanding a raise based on it, you're simply pushing your current company to save a little less and pay you a little more, within a budget that was many times already approved. Point is, it's usually a good idea to look around for a new job, even if you're happy in your current job.
As I said above, we're kicking off Cohort #2 of the Remote Jobs Braintrust, on the 13/November. I've added it to the Gumroad checkout page, and it has the 50% launch discount, like Cohort #1 had. There are still some seats available, go ahead and join us.
Thanks for reading this newsletter until the end. You can read all past editions here. Make sure to share the link with your friends and colleagues so they can read it too.
See you next Friday,
Startup CTO & Remote Work Lover