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In this episode, one woman shows us how she landed a new job and a raise during COVID — over email!

Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Based on an article by Keertana Anandraj:

Video by Grace Lee

The Financial Diet site:

Making It Work is sponsored by Blue Apron.

Click the link in our description to check out their wellness recipes. Negotiations can be stressful, whether via email, phone, or in person.

But it's often easier to strike the right tone when negotiating over the phone or in person, either because you've developed a connection with the recruiter or interviewer or simply because it's easier to convey your message with minimal risk of confusion behind your tone. Through more verbal and visual approaches, you can more confidently and comfortably express how much you want the job and respect the team, while also requesting a higher salary or more benefits. Email however, can be much trickier.

How do you stand your ground, ask for a raise, and come across as respectful at the same time? Also, should you even consider negotiating via email in the first place? These days, unless you're conversing with a recruiter or an extremely large firm, the vast majority of your interactions with a future employer are going to take place over email.

Not to mention, when you're fresh in the stages of looking for work, non-verbal communication such as emails, is pretty much all you have as a means of pitching yourself as a prospective employee. Gone are the days where you could physically walk into a place of business, drop off your resume, and use those few minutes of interaction to make somewhat of an impression. As such, you're likely to receive an offer letter outlining benefits via email as opposed to in person and your first opportunity to negotiate will likely be through a written message.

Even if you're eventually able to steer the conversation to an in-person or face to face discussion, it's important to feel confident negotiating, regardless of the communication medium, email included. Before I share my template, check out the one major pro and con of negotiating via email to begin with. Pro, time.

The biggest pro about negotiating via email is that you give both yourself and your employer time to think through the raise or PTO being requested. Often, making a negotiation request in person or over the phone results in the opposite person being unable to complete the request, as they need to confer with their boss or human resources to see what they can bring to the table. An email that way, allows the other parties sufficient time to make their counteroffer and even gives you time to think over added benefits to negotiate if you aren't given the salary or bonus you hoped for.

I've often forgotten about the specifics of other benefits like PTO or sick leave or flexible hours, in the heat of the moment of negotiating for a higher salary. As such, an email gives both you and your future employer time to think through the offer. Con, tone.

In my opinion, the main con to an email negotiation is the tone of voice. When negotiating, you want to both express your gratitude for an offer but also stand firm that you feel you deserve more. Via email, it is all too easy to come off as arrogant and it's hard to tell how your message is being received, given that you have no idea when your recipient will accept your offer or how soon they'll respond to you.

If you come off too strong, it can be mistaken for being rude and there's a chance that could go with another candidate instead. However, if you're not firm enough, you risk reducing your chances of a successful negotiation overall. Now, these cons could be applicable in person too, especially for women who may struggle with standing their ground in a negotiation.

It's a tricky balancing act, considering that over the phone or in person negotiations can also go wrong for someone who is overconfident and comes across as smug. But these situations are a bit rarer, while a total misunderstanding via email happens to virtually everyone. As such, here's a template I recommend for nailing your email negotiation.

Hi. Insert name. Thank you so much for this offer.

I'm looking forward to starting soon. First and foremost, insert any clarifying questions regarding the offer/benefits package here. If you could clarify that for me, I'd really appreciate it.

Next, I would like to discuss compensation further. In full transparency, I expected to make x dollars in this position. Can we find a way to bridge the gap?

I am confident that I bring a lot of value to the team here. Here, insert paragraph outlining your strengths. If you're hoping to negotiate a rate that's significantly higher than what the company quoted, I recommend writing a detailed message reemphasizing what you bring to the table.

If you're simply hoping to meet market rate though and the company has quoted you less than your research indicates you deserve, this is the time to quote that. Again, I am incredibly excited to have been offered this position. Thank you for your consideration and I genuinely look forward to working with and learning from everyone on the team.

I hope we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement. If it would be easier to discuss this further via phone, you can feel free to give me a call at, insert phone number any time between, insert date and time. I look forward to hearing about how we can finalize this offer so that it meets both of our needs.

Thank you. Name. While this template doesn't work for negotiating once you've already landed the job, it can certainly be tweaked to let your boss you want to raise or a higher bonus, especially if you find yourself taking on more work as a result of downsizing during the pandemic.

You can also negotiate other benefits. Adding a simple line like, I'd like to discuss the possibility of increasing my PTO to 15 days from 10, given that the salary and bonus seem fixed. I'm looking forward to discussing these final details so we can move ahead with a revised offer letter.

You always have the best leverage for negotiating after you've received an offer letter but before you've signed it. So I hope this template is helpful. Your financial health is just one part of living a healthy lifestyle and being intentional with your dollars can help you live better in every aspect of your life.

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