It’s important that you are aware of what your job contract is offering so that you know what you need to negotiate. Here’s why you should always negotiate your job contract.
We’ve all been there. We got the job we wanted and hurried excitedly to the office to discuss and sign our job contract. But wait! Before you let that pen hit the paper and “sign here”, give yourself a moment to think about if your job contract provides enough compensation. We understand you are excited and you’re willing to give anything to get this dream job of yours but it is highly important that you negotiate your job contract first with your employer. After all, good things come to those who wait.
Why is it important to negotiate your job contract, especially if it is for a job overseas? Well, as mentioned, you will be moving abroad to get this job and even though you are glad and more than happy to move abroad, it is a big thing to ask of you. You’ll undergo a change of lifestyle, and have to adjust to a whole new way of living. That is why it’s important to make sure you’re being compensated fairly.
CHECK YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Make sure to keep your expectations in check. You’ll want to figure out first what exactly on the contract is negotiable. If you are working in a startup company, then the salary might not be negotiable at all. However, that does not mean you can’t negotiate benefits, vacation leaves, or even complimentary housing.
CHECK YOUR ATTITUDE
It’s always a good idea to approach contract negotiations with a bit of delicadeza. You don’t want to come off as sounding demanding or even commanding to your would-be employers. Again, the goal here is simply to make sure that you are being fairly compensated and not to challenge your employers to see how far your bargaining can go. It might help to show how honored you are to have been offered the job in the first place and how you are excited to begin working with the company before you begin negotiating.
STANDARD COST OF LIVING AND MORE
Figure out what the standard cost of living is in your destination country. How much does housing rent, utilities, transportation, and even a regular meal cost? This should be the foundation of your negotiation. It is important to know if the salary and benefits package offered by your would-be employer is enough to maintain your current lifestyle. Remember that because you are moving abroad, you will be having to deal with a different currency so make sure you know and understand the exchange rate between Philippine Peso (PHP) to whatever currency your destination country deals in.
Also, keep in mind that it is not enough to be able to simply live on salary proposed to you. You also will have to be able to put money aside for your savings or even have money enough to send home to your family.
Since you will be asked to uproot your life and move to a different country for your job, it should be alright to discuss with your employer whether or not you will be helped during this time of relocating. The company might be able to cover moving costs or they might provide you with temporary housing while you are looking for a place of your own. Who knows, they might even provide you with complimentary housing while you are working with them. Whatever the case, it is important to ask about this especially if you are moving to a country where housing is expensive or even difficult to find.
Benefits packages presented by employers generally spell out any health insurance premiums that you will be entitled to if you should accept the job offer. This is usually where negotiations come into play if not your salary.
Make sure you have researched the typical cost of a visit to the doctor and to the emergency room. If you have any prior medical conditions or need any maintenance medication, see if the medical insurance stated in your benefits package is right for you. It might also be a good time to ask about dental insurance and if the insurance benefits also grant your family coverage.
VACATION AND SICK LEAVES
Job contracts should also state the number of days you have for a vacation leave as well as how many sick days you are allowed to have. However, it is important to ask about what allowances are given should you ever have to return to the Philippines for a family emergency.
Don’t be too eager to rush into your new job by immediately signing the job contract. Take some time to do your research about the standard cost of living in your destination country. This will surely help you in finding out if you are being adequately compensated by your new job. Good luck! Also, check out the other articles on WorkAbroad.ph which will help you with anything from packing for your overseas move to preparing your documents as an overseas Filipino worker.