There I was receiving my second contract offer since starting my job hunt four months ago. The last contract negotiation was an utter failure and it cost me a job. This time I was prepared.
A few months before this moment I had the pleasure of meeting mentor Rebecca Aguilar at a Society of Professional Journalists conference. She is one of those strong Latina women who goes out of her way to help other Latina journalists starting off in the business. “Latinas have to have each other’s back,” Aguilar said.
To this day those words resonate, perhaps the most important thing I heard the entire conference. Her years of experience are immeasurable. Even this post doesn’t do justice to the amount of help she has been to me.
I was ready to negotiate my contract this time with my handy list of tips that I had made based on Rebecca’s advice.
MY LIST OF TIPS
- First things first, attempt to negotiate your salary for a better deal. Explain to them that you have student loans, car loans, etc.
- Ask for outs to be written in, for example if a top 50 market comes knocking you want to be able to break your contract as easily as possible.
- Have the company pay for your trips to journalism conferences and your membership fees, after all it’s training that will help you be a better reporter in their newsroom.
- See if the company will pay for your cellphone bill or at least part of it. This day in age reporters have to be on all forms of social media and your company should pay for the extra data usage.
- Ask for moving expenses. You’re a recent graduate and money is tight, this is a very reasonable thing to request.
- Check to make sure they have a budget for wardrobe and make-up. It’s hard to make sure you have enough clothes to appear on TV without repeating an outfit within three weeks.
- Request that the company pay for your business cards. You’re going to be an outgoing journalist in a new community and you want something to give your new connections.
Thanks to all this, my contract negotiation went off without a hitch and I’m now the new Anchor/Producer for the new Telemundo station in Abilene, Texas.
Claudia Tristan is a graduate of Texas Tech University. She started her new job at Telemundo Abilene on July 7th.