How to Ignore Geography and Negotiate a “Local Only” Offer

impossible“Never underestimate what might be possible,” said Michele, an ExecuNet member, about how she turned a consulting opportunity that had a “strings attached” job offer into a full-time, virtual role.

“I was brought in to consult for a company,” said the computer technology company executive. “The CEO told me they would hire me on the spot, but I did not live locally and he didn’t believe the company was mature enough to be successful with telecommuters/remote work arrangements. I told him that I had done it previously and successfully but that if he didn’t think it would work, there was no point in us having the discussion. And I stopped talking.”

She isn’t alone in viewing relocation as a deal-breaker.

Both search firm and corporate recruiters frequently put “Moving” on their top five reasons an offer is rejected.

The CEO saw the opportunity and began asking Michele questions for the next 30 minutes. “I told him what I had done previously and how I managed a remote team and a corporate office on the other side of the country. He ended the conversation with, ‘Talk to (the person who I would be working for). I think you two can make this work.’ I was offered the job. It did mean that I was a road warrior, but when I was not traveling I worked from home. It worked out great!”

Negotiating with the company to help them further understand the value you bring can always bring you closer to a deal. In this case, Michele was already an effective consultant who delivered results. But, if you’re an external candidate interested in a role that happens to be “geographically unsuitable,” ExecuNet founder Dave Opton says apply anyway!

“Nobody has asked you to move yet. It’s a free country and you can always say no. One reason the job is posted is likely because they know it’s not a location that would be a big attraction and by posting it, it would be exposed to more prospects.” They are very likely open to remote workers, at least on a part-time basis, especially with how the world has changed because of the virus. Have a conversation. Let them see what you have to offer. If they want you, mountains may very well be no obstacle at all.

Dave continues, “If you were fortunate enough to get a screening interview and discussions started to get serious, lots of things often change, including things like titles, money, and believe it or not, relocation requirements. I have seen lots of cases where the deal was closed and instead of relocation, the employer settled for the person flying in a couple of times a month or something like that.” And right now, until the pandemic is behind us, even that may not be necessary.

Further, if the job is posted by a search firm, they may be working on similar assignments that could be more local to you. “If you did not raise your hand for this one, you would never have known that the other one existed,” Dave points out.

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William Flamme

William Flamme

William Flamme is ExecuNet's Associate Director of Content Marketing, where he develops engaging job search, career path, and leadership insight to build ExecuNet's brand recognition as the leader in senior-level executive job search and all matters career.

He delivers executive-level content across the various properties under the ExecuNet brand, amplifying the power of ExecuNet's expert voices and shaping the content strategy.

Prior to joining ExecuNet in 2008, Will earned a master's degree in education and taught fifth grade and sixth grade. As a teacher, he deepened his appreciation for the written word and mastered skills necessary for managing writers who sometimes view deadlines as homework. It is his training as an educator which allows Will to take complex ideas and make them simple for busy executives to understand and to execute.

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