Teaching People How To Find & Land Remote Work
Welcome to another episode of the Digital Nomad Cafe Podcast.
Today’s guest is Libryia Jones from Libryiajones.com. Libryia helps companies implement software that organizes their data. She loves her job, the work she does, and the people she works with. Plus, it pays the soccer fees! Outside of the W2 job, Libryia runs a community of over 21,000 women who love to travel with (and without) their children. She teaches people how to find and land remote work. Also, she is organizing The Biggest Remote Work Conference for job seekers.
Topics we discuss:
- The art of applying for jobs with intention & making sure the company is a right fit for you.
- What to think about when looking for a remote job.
- How to stand out in the crowd in your application.
- Running a Remote Work Conference.
Thank you for joining us in today’s episode. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast and give us a Review on iTunes & a Follow on Spotify. Digitalnomadcafe.com for more episodes.
Adam: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Digital Nomad Cafe podcast. Today’s guest is Libryia Jones. Hello, Libryia. How are you?
Libryia: Hey, you said it right. You were hesitant.
Adam: I stalled halfway through saying it. I was like, “I don’t know if I’m saying it right. Libryia.”
Libryia: Everyone’s always so hesitant or scared to mess my name up. Here’s the thing. I am the only person that’s required to know how to say it the first time. If you say it wrong, I will correct you. We’ll move on. No one was injured. It’s all good. But you stumbled through it. But you said it right. It’s Libryia.
Adam: Libryia, you are a character. Your Instagram, your website, the video content you put out. I really love them. It’s kind of studying in advance of this interview. And you’re very cool. And your website is beautiful as well, I must say. I absolutely loved it. The layout and the design and everything. So for people who maybe aren’t familiar with you, we have a lot of listeners over here in Europe and UK, and Ireland. Why don’t you give us a little bit of who are you and what is it that you do?
Libryia: Awesome. Well, thank you for that. No pressure, telling everybody I’m cool. I’m all right.
Adam: Check out your Instagram. I’ll link it up in the comments. It’s cool. You’re putting up all sorts of videos.
Libryia: Link it up and decide for yourself if I’m cool. I think I’m pretty fine. I am what I call a Social Educator and Remote Work Advocate. And I teach people how to find online remote work. A lot of the content that I share is really opening people up to the possibilities that are out there for them. A lot of folks don’t know that they can work remotely. A lot of folks don’t know that they can work from anywhere. A lot of people don’t even think about the fact that they could travel and live in other places. And so I’m really trying to kind of open people’s minds to that. And I have this audacious goal to help 10,000 moms land remote work so they can do great work from anywhere and show up for their families the way that they desire. I also have a travel community of over 21,000 moms who love to travel, who want to literally give their children the world. And aside from all that, I have a full time job. I am an IT Project Manager for a software consulting firm. We help major companies implement data management software.
Adam: So that’s the day to day, your remote job that you have. And then outside of that, you’re doing a hybrid. It’s very similar to myself. I have a business, I have a podcast, and I have a job that I work as well. So it’s interesting when you come across people, because sometimes people are very one or the other. It’s like, “You got to be an entrepreneur. You got to work for yourself.” Yeah. But you get paid pretty well when you have a remote job with a good company, and it gives you the freedom and flexibility to then explore your business’ creativity while not having that freelancer burnout, for lack of a better word, or the freelancer chase. Some people can do really well. But I was a freelancer for almost five years before I joined Shopify and my own SEO and content, business, web design. And it’s not always easy. It was a graft. It was hard work. And it was a lot of hours. And I personally didn’t make that much money when I was doing it. So talk to me about helping people find a remote job. Like, where would you start with somebody who wanted to find a remote job?
Libryia: I usually tell people to start with one, going ahead and getting past the myths that they have in their head about remote work. A lot of people’s blocker is a lot of people say, “I want a remote job. I want to work remotely. I want to work from anywhere. I want location independence.” But then when you dig in and start asking them well, where are you looking? What are you thinking about doing? They haven’t done anything. They haven’t even started because they see this thing that they want, but it’s completely blocked by whatever myths that they’re believing in. They believe that remote work is for tech people. They believe remote work doesn’t pay well. They believe that remote jobs don’t have benefits. They believe that they don’t have enough experience to do remote work. So the first place to start is just to kind of get rid of the myths and get out there and look to see what’s out there. All of those myths that people are believing, all those assumptions that people have, aren’t based on anything. It’s based on, “I’m assuming that this isn’t for me. This is something I want, but I assume that this isn’t for me.” So the first thing I tell people to start is, you know, accept that it is for you. There’s opportunities for you, and then go out there and find them. I have a free guide that provides people with my favorite places to find remote work. And I always tell people, that guide is completely agnostic of you know, what type of work you do, what type of background you have, where you live, what kind of degree you have, whether or not you have a degree. It’s full of job boards that are specific to remote work, that have all kinds of remote jobs. They’ve got entry level remote jobs, customer service, remote jobs, finance, accounting, things across the board. Project management, recruiters HR, for people that are just now getting into the workforce, and people that are experienced all the way up to the C suite, the people that are CEOs and executive VPS. So there’s something for everybody. I think the place that I say to start is make sure you’re going to the remote work job boards. Because a lot of somebody just inboxed me earlier today and said that they’d been looking for remote jobs and haven’t been able to find them. And they were on Indeed and LinkedIn, which are fine websites. It’s a great website to find jobs. But it’s like looking for a specialized screw at Target. Sure, they have them, they might have it, but you’re gonna do some work trying to find it and they may not have it. But if you go to a job board that specializes in remote work, you’re gonna have better options. We Work Remotely, Remote.co, Workforce, Flex Jobs, websites like that, that are specific to remote jobs. So that’s usually where I tell people to start.
Adam: That’s really good. And I think you hit on something there, as well. What’s really important is knowing what you want from the company that you’re going to apply for as well. Like, like when you say working remote, do you mean working in your bedroom, in your house in America? Or do you mean, I want to spend six months in Tulum every year in Mexico, and I want to spend the other six months in Spain or something. But truthfully, because there are people who want both, and then there are people who just want to be able to work remotely, and not have to be going over to the house 12 hours a day, driving to and from work, who live in America, anywhere. From California to Oklahoma, New York, wherever it is, where somebody is. They’re sick of having to do the subways. And it’s the same in London too. Having to go underground everyday and going to an office, it sucks. It’s hot as hell, and it’s packed, and it’s Coronavirus everywhere.
Libryia: I’m glad you pointed this out. I’m glad you pointed this out, and I’m sorry to cut you off. But I just had to grab on to the comment that you made about thinking about what it is you want to accomplish with this type of lifestyle, right? Because remote work doesn’t always mean work from anywhere. It doesn’t. Some companies are gonna require you to be in the United States, some companies are gonna require you to be in a specific state. So some companies are like, it’s a remote job, but it’s only for Texas, or it’s only for Georgia, whatever the case may be. So if you know what your goal is, then you can start to filter down those jobs and kind of get closer to what you’re looking for. Maybe you want to work from home so that you can be at home with your children. And that’s perfectly fine. Maybe you want to move abroad, in which case, you’re looking for a very different type of remote job. And the things that tend to be better for people who want to expatriate or like remote first companies, a lot of the technology companies that have built themselves up to be thought leaders in the remote work space, they typically don’t care where you work from. But then, just because your company doesn’t say you can live anywhere, doesn’t mean that they don’t believe you can travel anywhere too. They may say that you need to be US based for the most part. But that means that you can’t spend more than 330 days outside of the US. That still means you could still possibly pick up and go for two weeks to a month and go stay somewhere else or for a little while. So getting clear about what type of lifestyle am I hoping for. And that helps you to narrow down the opportunities. But it also helps you when it comes to the interview when you’re trying to understand what is the setup that they allow for, so you can ask the right questions. I’m glad you pointed that out.
Adam: Because I think it is important. It’s come up a few times even on this podcast. It’s funny because I really get both sides of it. I get the people who would be like, “Never. I would never work for a company and I’ll only ever run my own business.” And then you have the other side which is like, “Hell, no. I don’t want a remote job. I don’t want to work on my own stuff on the side.” And I’m in the middle too, though. Truthfully. Because I have a remote job, but I have the flexibility. When you’re in Europe, it’s quite easy because they have this tax residency thing where you can spend half the year in Europe. Right now, you just can’t go anywhere, because of– Well, it’s not that you can’t go anywhere else. It’s not like it was. Let’s just put it that way. Even working remotely. I love going to cafes and spending maybe an hour or two there in the mornings and breaking up the day after the school drop off. That’s how I like to build my remote work day, where you spend some of it outside of the house and some of it inside of the house, because then you’re not in the house all day. And for a period of the year, go somewhere else and work from somewhere else. Even if it’s somewhere else in Ireland, like renting an Airbnb and going somewhere just by the beach and just standing there instead of where I am. Because when you have a remote job, it allows you to have flexibility. And that’s the key, I think.
Libryia: I now believe in that. The flexibility is so important to me. And it’s not that I hate being in an office. I actually love going to my company’s office. I love my coworkers, I like hanging out with them. For me, it’s the freedom to choose where I want to work. And I love that you said switching up. I actually just came back from a co-working space today. I’ve spent the last several weeks getting ready for this three-day conference that I just hosted. And so I’ve been heads down at my desk in my home office for three weeks and just needed a change of pace. And that was the beautiful thing about working remotely. You can choose what your environment is from day to day. And when we first went into the pandemic, I’d say about six months in, a lot of people were like, “Is this what you were talking about? Remote work, it sucks. Is this what you are referring to?” And I was like, “This ain’t it, guys. This is not it.” We’re all stuck in our houses. Stuck in our houses with our spouses, with our kids all day. Nobody can go anywhere. Your houses are basically becoming your prisons, right? That is not the remote work scenario that I was talking about. I was talking about the fact that I can pick up and go to Prague for a few weeks and work. Or I can go to Thailand for a few weeks and work. And one of the things I didn’t mention Adam is that I actually took a group of people around the world for a whole year back in 2016. So I took a group of digital nomads. About 31 people left with me. And we traveled the world for a whole year living and working. We stayed in four different countries for three months at a time. Living and working. That’s the flexibility that having a remote job provides. We did Prague, Czech Republic for three months, Chiang Mai, Thailand for three months, Cape Town, South Africa for three months, and then Colombia for three months. And it was excellent.
Adam: Yeah. That is awesome. That’s an experience that you can have when you’ve made the decision about the skill set that allows you to have a remote job. Because I think that’s an important thing at the moment. Because I see a lot of people, I mean, even chefs. Years ago, when I was 17, I actually went to chef college and studied. I was going to be a chef. I wanted to work as a chef in the Caribbean on yachts. And that was my goal because you got paid mad money over there doing that, apparently. But anyway, I worked in Spain in a kitchen for like a week and I was like, “It’s way too hot.” And that was it. I just scrapped my cheffing career there and then and moved into working in bars, being the stereotypical Irish bartender. I know people who are chefs have been chefs for years reaching out to me asking me about, “How could I work online? I’ve never done it but I’m sick of working in kitchens ” Kitchens, they’re in trouble. It’s been locked down in restaurants. It’s very hard for restaurants to survive. Ireland has had like, 500 days of lockdown. It’s been a joke. I see people who would have never transitioned, like people in hospitality, even people in construction who are maybe thinking about something that will give them more flexibility, more freedom. “How do I get started online? Or what skills?” What I’m often trying to teach them about is like, “You’re a chef. You work in a high pressure environment. You’ve got so many transferable skills.” From people management to stock management, inventory management, dealing with pressure, organization. But they don’t see that. They’re just, “Well, I’m a Chef, what do I know?” You’ve fed 400 people at a wedding. You’ve got skills.” I think, if you’re new to it or you’ve never done it before, it’s important to try and make a list of those, what I called transferable skills. You might not think of them as highly valuable but companies are looking for that. Like, if you can get somebody who’s really skillful at managing people, at managing teams, building systems, those people are so valuable in companies.
Libryia: That’s one of the things that we did a whole panel on. We did a couple of panels on this topic at the quick meeting conference last weekend. Conference is over, but the replays will be available pretty soon. And I talk about this very thing in the Remote Ready Bundle in my course. My father was a truck driver, and he recently got injured, so he can’t drive. And he reached out to me, he was like, “What can I do to work remotely?” And one of the things I recommend to people that are moving from very physical work to wanting to work remotely, is two things. One is exactly what you said, start identifying your transferable skills. Start identifying the skills that you’ve utilized in that position that are transferable. If you worked in retail, you did inventory management. A lot of time, you did schedule management. You’ve done merchandising, and marketing. And there’s companies like Shopify where your skills are useful, right? Online retail is a big deal right now. And so there are companies that are looking for those transferable skills. But also now you have opened up the ability to consult. You could be a consultant. So if you’re coming from a retail space, there’s so many people trying to open retail stores. What if you consulted with them on how to understand what their KPIs are for a retail company? How to build out your store, how to make sure that you don’t have out of stocks in your inventory, things like that. And like you said, as a chef, you’ve been in a very high pressure situation. You’ve got event management skills, you’ve got resource management skills, you’ve got inventory management skills. So really start to lean into some of those transferable skills that can go across industries. The next thing I’ll say is, we have never been in a time where it is so easy to go and learn a new skill for free or almost free. And then just go into another field, right? You’ve got YouTube University, basically. Facebook offers courses, Google offers courses, even Shopify offers courses. Canva offers courses. You could go learn to be a graphic designer. You can learn to be an online marketer, Facebook advertising, social media advertising. There’s just so many ways that you can learn a new skill. I’ve even heard stories about people learning to code and moving into doing development work.
Adam: Google has their own courses now as well. And UI and UX, and I think LinkedIn likeso. There’s a lot of these. Just identify what’s the one that they want to go into. And I think it’s important to, you know, pick your transferable skills. And that’s maybe to get your feet wet and just kind of build yourself up. Because I imagine trying to convince a recruiter like, “Hey, I’m Adam. I’ve been a chef for 15 years, and I’d be great in your tech company.” That’s a hard sell for that recruiter. Versus like somebody coming from Facebook or Etsy or something who’s applying for the same position. I think that will be a challenge for people. But that’s where, like you’re saying, if you’ve identified areas and skills in which you’d like to develop, and you’ve you’ve shown initiative, like you’ve maybe taken a course or you’ve done some training, that would put you up there and it shows your your resourcefulness, your enthusiasm, your energy for learning these new skills, as well as having the transferable skills like you’re talking about.
Libryia: Yup. And the other thing I’d add is, while you’re in that learning period, trying to transition, there’s a lot of entry level remote work that can be done as well. Customer service, virtual assistant, social media management, there’s a lot of entry level remote work that can be done that doesn’t require a whole lot of experience or anything like that, that you can start to do so that you can start to build your profile that way as well.
Adam: Yeah. In my last interview, actually, the one that will come up before this, I interviewed Hannah from Digital Nomad Kit.
Libryia: Hannah my girl. Love Hannah.
Adam: Oh, there you go. You know Hannah? Yeah. Hannah teaches people how to become virtual assistants. That’s her jam. Well-paid virtual assistants. And she’s got 12,000 people, I think, that have gone through her courses. And she’s got a really cool community. They’re really collaborative and engaged. And she’s cool. She’s built a really cool online environment and an encouraging environment. And she teaches the skills to help people to grow as a virtual assistant. Rather than land in a remote job, it’s more like, “Be a VA and sell packages.”
Libryia: Yeah. Be a VA and sell packages. Love Hannah. I met her in Barcelona a few years ago. And we’ve just kept in contact. And she actually spoke at the conference on two panels about this very topic. One panel she talked about was learning a new skill to work remotely. And the second she spoke on was entry level remote work. And like you said, she’s built an excellent community. And she’s built a wonderful structure that people can grab and learn from to build their own business. And it doesn’t always have to be, “I need to go get a remote job.” It could be, “I need to build my own thing as a freelancer.” And that’s one of the things that she teaches people how to do.
Adam: So you do both. You have a job, full time job and you have online courses. You have an online course. So The Remote Ready bundle, talk to me about that. So what does that do? If I take that? What does it do?
Libryia: Yeah. So the Remote Ready Bundle is, I think it’s 17 videos, but it’s a mini course, basically, that walks you through what I consider the four phases to land remote work. The first phase is where to find the jobs. Because a lot of people don’t know that. A lot of people have no idea that there are so many remote jobs out there. And it’s not just because of the pandemic, there have always been remote jobs out there. I’ve been teaching this course for six years now. So this is not a new thing. But the first phase is, identifying where to find the job. So I’ll show you the great places. I think there’s a list of 75 places to find remote work in there. I also teach people how to do searches better, and talk to Google the way Google understands to give you better results. And then phase two, we go through how to apply for jobs, because there’s an art to applying for jobs. It takes a little bit more effort than just pressing that submit button. There’s some intention
that needs to go into that application. Because keep in mind, it’s you against a minimum of 300 people. It could be anywhere from 300 to 3000 people, so you want to be mindful and intentional about applying for those jobs. So great tips there. Phase three is how to nail the interview. A lot of people go into interviews stressed out, unprepared, nervous. And the purpose of that section is really to kind of flip your mindset from thinking that I’m going into this meeting begging for a job, expecting to be judged, and switching it to, I have something to offer these people. This is a conversation about two people that have something to offer one another. And we’re just trying to see if we’re a fit. So it’s an opportunity for you to come in and find out if this company is a fit for you. That’s what the conversation is really about. And then phase four is how to negotiate your offer. A lot of people don’t negotiate offers. A lot of women don’t negotiate offers. So that whole section really kind of talks you through why you must negotiate, how to negotiate, and things that you can negotiate other than salary. People don’t realize that salary does not have to be the only thing that you negotiate. You can negotiate a number of things. Anywhere from how many days you have off to your benefits. And there’s even a story in there about someone that negotiated a free car and free housing for a year, which is crazy.
Adam: That’s awesome. And share is another one. Like, if you’re at an early stage of a company that’s potentially going to have an IPO, which a lot of these tech companies will do, share is negotiable at the start of that. Especially if it’s at that early stage, if those shares are either pre-IPO or under $100. You can negotiate. Maybe they won’t give you a higher salary, but maybe we’ll give you more shares that’ll invest over time and that’s a retention strategy for the company anyway, because you don’t get the shares until you’re there like two years or whatever. But a lot of FinTech companies, a lot of software companies would have share options. And that can make serious money too. If you get in somewhere that the share price goes up over time, like, look at any like look at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Shopify, Pinterest. Yeah, like if you got in anywhere, and gave a couple of hundred shares, a couple of thousand shares five years ago. But there’s examples of that now. There’s the next ones of those hiring, scaling, growing really fast now, and they’re looking for people. And as part of your negotiation, I would say, don’t leave out shares. I know people who’ve been working in software jobs for years. It’s funny you say that about women, because I know a woman who’s not had a pay raise in four years, and she’s afraid to ask for it. She’s really afraid. I’m like, Oh, my God. Every year I’m pushing and seeing what I can get. Sometimes you don’t get anything. But at least I made my case. At least I tried.
Libryia: That is the thing. So let me wrap up what the course is about. So it takes you through those four things, self guided, it doesn’t take a long time. You could really knock the course out in a weekend. It’s not one of those long drawn out courses. It’s less than $50. And people can buy it in two installments. I’m so glad you pointed that out about people not even trying to negotiate. People are so afraid of ‘no’. Just practice it in the mirror. It’s not going to kill you. You will not implode, your brain won’t melt. ‘No’ is okay. And people forget that there’s so many things in between yes and no also. So maybe they said no to what you asked for. But what else can they give you? If they say no we’re not going to give you a 15% raise. Okay, so you won’t raise my salary 15%. What about a 5% raise and another week of vacation time? Or what about a 5% raise and 10% stock options. There’s so many things in between yes or no. But I always tell people, if you don’t ask the question, you are the one telling yourself no. You told you no. You didn’t give them the you didn’t even give them the chance to say yes. You didn’t give them a chance to say no. You didn’t give them the chance to say maybe. You told you no, they did not. Worst case scenario is they say no and you’re in the same situation you’re in today. No harm, no foul, right?
Adam: But I think it’s one of those things. It’s rejection and it’s the fear of rejection. And it’s something that people have an in-built innate cringe stir. People don’t like it. People don’t like being told no, you don’t like asking somebody out and then telling me no. You don’t like asking for something and then tell me no.
Libryia: I’m always like, but do you like being stuck better?
Adam: No, I’m on your side. I’m okay with being uncomfortable.
Libryia: I know nobody likes rejection. But damn, do you like being stuck with the same salary? Do you like being stuck in the same position? Do you like being stuck in a situation that you don’t like? You don’t like that either. So pick your hard. Pick which hard you care about. And that quick rejection is, to me, that’s just data. It’s just information. If they say no, now, you know where you stand and you have a decision to make. Do I want to stay in this position or do I want to go somewhere else? If you don’t ask, you have no idea where you stand.
Adam: And you’ll just keep making it up in your head. These loops about what could and couldn’t happen and maybe will, maybe won’t. I’m on your side, I’m all about asking, seeing where you stand, and at least then you have, as you said, the information to make your own decisions because all the facts are on the table. But I don’t like that ambiguity of the what ifs and then not asking. It’s funny, I interview quite a few freelancers on this show, successful freelancers who have built their own businesses. And when you’re a freelancer, ‘no’, you just gotta get used to it. It’s like a muscle. You just got to flex it. For every 10 calls you have, you may get five hard no’s, three soft no’s and two clients. And it’s okay. You kind of build a resistance to it where you don’t take it personally, but I think that’s the key, is to not take it personally. It’s what’s available for you at that time. It’s not necessarily a personal dig at you if you did or didn’t get that increase. These companies work within budgets and work within allocations. It is what it is.
Libryia: Right. It is what it is, right? It doesn’t necessarily have to be personal. And here’s the thing, even if it is, at least, you know. Because otherwise, it’s been personal and It’s been on the low and you didn’t know about it. Honestly, I think about it this way. Imagine sitting around being hungry. Imagine your kids sit around being hungry and never telling you because they’re afraid you’ll say no to what they want to eat.
Adam: That makes it sound crazy. Yeah, come on,
Libryia: Come on, guys. Ask for food. You want a raise? Ask for it. You want a promotion? Ask for it. You want a great product? Ask for it.
Adam: And that initial stage of recruitment as well. If you do the interview like you’re saying, that’s the best time. People are afraid at that point. Like, “Yes, I got the job!” But that’s actually the best time to negotiate. Because they want you and you’ve proven yourself. People are sometimes afraid to push at that point or test the boundaries. I’ve seen this in multiple companies because I know people who work at probably everywhere, like from Facebook, Etsy, LinkedIn, Oracle, Salesforce. We’re in Ireland. All the tech companies are here because they don’t have to pay taxes if you’re in Ireland. Ireland has a very healthy corporation tax situation that the rest of Europe isn’t happy about. So basically, in one street in Dublin, you have all the companies. Slack, Stripe, eBay, Etsy, PayPal, Facebook, Google, basically one street in Europe. But Ireland has a really good– Apple as well– a really good corporation thing. But anyway, the point is I know people who have worked at all of these companies. All of them have always said the same thing. “I wish I had pushed harder when I was coming in.” Because the people who did might tell you about it, if you’ve become friends with them, and they’re like, “Oh, yeah. You could have got more. You could have done better there. You didn’t ask.”
Libryia: It’s just dating, right? It’s just like dating. Like, at the beginning, before you’re in the relationship, that’s when they want to bestow you all the gifts on you and all the other things. Once you’re in a relationship, it’s like, “I got you now.” But that is the thing. We actually did a panel on benefits and compensation in remote work at the Quick Computing conference. And one of the conversations– it was to recruiters, actually, it wasn’t recruiters, it was to people that work in compensation. They’re the ones that build out payment plans, how much people get paid compensation bands. And even they said, always negotiate. They said that, always negotiate your offer. And two, it is best to negotiate before you get in the door. Because that’s when they want you. And most recruiters expect you to negotiate. They come to the table with a band. They have a range. They know what they can play with. And it’s their job, technically, it’s their job to offer you the lower end of their range, because they’ve got a certain amount of money they can play with and they want to get you, in their mind, the most value, which means the least cost. But they’ve got a range to play with, and they fully expect you to negotiate. So do it. And I think people are afraid that the offer may get rescinded. I’m gonna tell you something. Very rarely will a company rescind an offer because you counter offered more than they were willing to offer you. Very few companies will ever rescind an offer. And if they do, you don’t want to work there. Because I like to say, they failed the test. They failed a huge test. The very first time you advocated for yourself, they penalized you for it. If they can’t handle you advocating for yourself when you walk in the door, what do you think’s going to happen a year from now when you want a promotion or when you want to be treated well, or when you feel like you’re not being supported? If they rescind an offer because you negotiated, trust me, you don’t want to work there. They did you a favor, keep it moving.
Adam: Yeah. I love that. But like you’re saying, I’ve never seen people just say no. It’s often, from all of my conversations, it’s never just no. It’s, “I can’t give you that. But I could give you this.” It’s often, like we’re saying, it’s a different share option, it’s a benefits option, it’s something about your health insurance, or it’s something about holidays. Each company is different. But there’s often, as you’re saying, it’s what is on offer. The offer and the full package. It’s not just your base salary. It’s a constitute of multiple things. Some of these companies will have expenses too to let you help you set up your home office and your setup. There’s lots of different ways that they can make it work for you.
Libryia: Agreed. And I’ll give you a little bit into my negotiation. Because like you said, they told me no, actually. Because the salary came in at the right level. All I asked for was a signing bonus. That’s all I asked for, I say, “Can I get a signing bonus?” And they were like, “Well, we’ve never done signing bonuses before.” And I was like, “Cool, I’m fine with being the first. I’m cool with being the first.”
Adam: Alright. Let’s start a trend.
Libryia: Right. I’ll start this off, I’ll be a pioneer. But their response was, “Well, we won’t give you a signing bonus for the amount that you asked for. But here’s what we’ll do. We’ll give you a quarter of that in moving expenses. And we’ll increase your base salary.” Which was a better deal for me, right? Because I asked for a one time lump sum payment. And instead, they embedded that in my salary, which means my bonus is calculated off of a higher number. And when it’s time for me to get a raise, that number is already higher. I have a higher starting point. So they said no to my counteroffer, but they ended up offering me something even better, quite honestly. And so don’t be afraid to get that No, but just don’t be afraid to ask. Because also, maybe they can’t do it right now. Maybe they say, “Well, we can’t accommodate that ask.” Well, I come back and say, “Well, what about in six months for my annual review? Do we think we can meet that salary requirement during my annual review when I hit the one one year mark?” So there’s all these levers you can pull in these conversations you can have. It doesn’t have to be adversarial, doesn’t have to be difficult, doesn’t have to be contentious. It’s really a conversation about two people just trying to figure out how they can work best together. That’s really all it is.
Adam: It’s your life, too. You’re going to spend an awful lot of your life working for them many hours a day. You get rid of your children so that you can work for them. So you want the best deal you can get. You’re advocating for yourself. And there’s nothing wrong with that. You shouldn’t feel guilty about that. It’s not a nasty thing. The more experience you have with it, the more comfortable you get in it. You don’t always get what you want. But you might have got a better deal than you were being offered. Ultimately, that’s what it comes down to.
Libryia: And not to harp on any negotiation thing, but I do have to say this for the women out there. At least in the US, we have a pay gap problem. I don’t know if that’s the case in in Europe and in other countries.
Adam: I would say so, yeah. It’s often in the news that women don’t get paid as much as men.
Libryia: So the pay gap is not an issue that we created. It’s not a problem that we have to fix. But one of the things that we can do for ourselves to help address the pay gap is to negotiate. We continue to allow the gap to widen when we don’t negotiate our salaries. And so I think it’s our duty to ourselves and our duty to fellow women workers to start to negotiate so we can do what we can to minimize that pay gap. Now, again, the structure of the system was not put in place by us. It’s not meant to be fixed by us. But we do need to advocate for ourselves so that we don’t continue to exacerbate that issue.
Adam: Absolutely. I think certain women are good at advocating for themselves, like especially anyone I know who works in sales, like software sales. Those women will sell, not only the software, but they will sell themselves to get the best deal that they can. I’ve seen that. I know people who work like that. But maybe people who aren’t in frontline sales roles aren’t as comfortable asking. They either avoid that conversation or they don’t want to have it because it’s uncomfortable. I’m 100% on board with you. Equal pay, men and women. I have a young daughter, of course I want the best for her. I hope that she’s in the world that she has the same opportunity to make those values. I’m all for it. But like you’re saying, you, as the individual, have to take that ownership, that responsibility because nobody’s going to give it to you if you don’t ask for it and make your own stand and try and get the best for yourself and the best deal. Libryia, it’s been a pleasure. I’ve absolutely enjoyed talking with you. I think you’ve given a lot of great tips there for people to get ready for finding a remote job and then how to negotiate when they get through that interview stage, which I think was a really interesting way that this podcast episode ended up going. And I think it was really valuable. So thank you.
Libryia: Thank you. Thank you for having me. It’s a great conversation. I could have talked to you for another hour, for sure.
Adam: Yeah, me too. But I try to keep them for around half an hour. We’re 37. So I think I’ll leave it there. Speaking to young ones, it’s about my kids’ bedtime now, anyway so I’m gonna have to go and do all that. So where can people find you if they want to connect with you online? What’s the best place?
Libryia: So I hang out on Instagram a lot. I do a live every Tuesday night answering questions. I share remote work tips every Wednesday, and I share remote jobs on a regular basis. So on Instagram, I’m Libya Jones. My website is libryiajones.com. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn, same name. Same name across platforms.
Adam: But it’s all business over there. It’s all business.
Libryia: It’s all business. We’re not hanging out on LinkedIn. I’m not.
Adam: But you know what, we didn’t actually touch on it, it was something that I did want to touch on. LinkedIn is really powerful. Keeping your profile up to date, adding connections, and the job search and notification features that are on LinkedIn. Like I got my hire at Shopify through a recruiter off LinkedIn. They had hunted people in Ireland and I was one of those people. And I get job offers.
Libryia: The CEO of our company found me on LinkedIn. I was not looking for this job. He sent me a message on LinkedIn because he had done a search. My name popped up because my profile was up to date. I had all the right keywords in there. And he showed my LinkedIn to people he had already hired that used to work with me. And they were like, “Yeah, hire her right now.” So when he called me, when I got on the phone with him, the first thing in his mouth was, “I’m gonna offer you a job.” There was no interview, I didn’t interview for the position at all. My LinkedIn was up to date. That’s how I got this job.
Adam: I love it. Yes, exactly. So let’s end it on that note. LinkedIn is a place for business where you can connect with Libryia and myself, but keep it up to date and keep it organized and look professional on there and don’t be putting up holiday pictures and stuff like that. That’s for your Instagram. Know your platforms. I think that’s important. Thank you, Libryia. It’s been a pleasure.
Libryia: Thank you. It’s been great. Take care.