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Candidate March Newsletter: Negotiating, non-negotiables, and more…

Welcome to March, the month notorious for coming in like a lion. Whether that refers to the weather, the news cycle, or your own job search, perhaps you relate.


In this month’s newsletter, how to land your non-negotiables when you negotiate, what to keep in mind if working remotely is one of those non-negotiables in your job search, why it’s critical you take the time to properly evaluate a job offer, and my recommended reads for this month.


Separating Your “Nice to Haves” from Your Non-Negotiables


While you’re interviewing for new jobs, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. I often suggest that job seekers separate their needs into two different lists:

  1. Nice to haves

  2. Non-negotiables


While nice-to-haves might include things like your perfect schedule or full-time remote work, for the right job, you’d be willing to compromise on them. But non-negotiables are the things you don’t want to bend on, at all. For instance, if the ability to pick up your kids from school is table stakes for you, this is important to divulge upfront.


The best time to talk about non-negotiables is during an interview. Waiting until the offer process might seem disingenuous to a hiring manager who’s already invested plenty of time in the process.



Finding a Job That Lets You Keep Working Remotely


You’ve had a taste of the good life, and now you can’t settle for less?


This is how a lot of people I talk to at Johnson Recruiting Group view remote or hybrid work. But as a lot of companies slowly get back to in-office culture, this can present a conflict for employees who simply would rather stay at home.


For plenty of people, this means looking for a new job. If your objective is to find a job that enables you to work remotely, you (and your recruiter) should know this going in.


It’s not always possible to simply filter a remote job board for “remote jobs only.” For one thing, a keyword search won’t catch job postings that use different wording to refer to remote work, and for another, some jobs might have hidden flexibility built in for the right candidate, but not mentioned in the upfront description. If it’s important to you, it’s a question to ask early on.


Always Take the Time to Evaluate a Job Offer


It’s been a slog, this job search. And you’ve finally gotten an offer from a company you’ve had your eyes on.


But hold up!


Before you accept it, take some time to think it over. It can be easy to react from a place of fear: “What if this is the best or only offer I get? I need a job!” I often recommend to the job seekers I work with that they think beyond salary and benefits when evaluating a job offer. For instance, have you thought about:


  • The “intangible” benefits of the job, like work culture and educational opportunities

  • What will your commute be like? Or, conversely, what the remote options will be for this role?

  • And most importantly, perhaps, how this job will impact your long-term career prospects and potential


There are trade-offs with any role, of course, and you’re not always going to find the perfect fit. But taking the time to consider whether this one will be perfect “enough” will pay off in the long run.


This Month’s Must-Reads


Recruiters like me are always here to bounce ideas off of. If you ever want to chat about your job search, reach out. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few of the best things I read in the last month…



I’ll be back in your inbox in April.


James Johnson


Johnson Recruiting Group


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