This year, companies may or may not be working with the same budgets they had last year. And that being the case, salary negotiations may not get you as far as they used to. The good news is, when you’re considering a new job offer, there’s a lot more you can negotiate other than your take-home pay.
Salary negotiations aren’t simply about the dollar amount on your paycheck each month. Your benefits can also play a huge part in your post-job-offer negotiating. Once an offer is made, it’s almost never in your best interest to accept it right off the bat. Although there are real dangers of over-negotiating your salary and benefits, having a few requests probably won’t put your new employer over the edge.
If you’re wondering what you should bring up during your negotiation of benefits, you’re in luck. We created a short list that you can keep in mind when it comes time to asking for elements in your compensation package other than the digits on your paycheck.
Professional development: It’s a buzz term, sure, but it’s also an essential tool in an employee’s personal and professional growth and potential output. In many industries, like medicine, law, and education, individuals are required to participate in continuing education courses to maintain their ability to practice. This is because continuing education isn’t just a way for you to stay up to date on industry trends and new findings – continuing education ensures that you can do your job the best you possibly can.
Say you’re taking on a new sales role where you’ll be using your personal phone to make a lot of calls. While some employers are turning to a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, you may be able to ask for a small amount of compensation for your time spend on your phone for your job. Dig in and see what your employer’s policy is, you may be able to keep a few dollars in your pocket come your next phone bill.
Whether you take the train, rent a lime bike, or drive into work, you might be able to ask for transportation reimbursement. You’ll need to do the math and make a logical argument to your boss before asking. And if you get a yes, definitely keep your receipts in case of any discrepancy. All in all, this could be a great way to save some cash at the end of the day.
Even if you’re not able to start your first day with a “better” title, you might be able to negotiate a new title once you pass your probationary period. Even if it seems nit-picky now, this could mean a world of difference to the next employer (should there be one) who looks at your resume.
Like any negotiation, asking for more vacation time will require some give-and-take. Why not ask your boss if they would be okay with adding an extra week to your vacation time if certain high-level goals are met during the year? That way, both of you get something out of your superior work ethic.
Work from home/remote
Even if you’re not able to negotiate on the dollar amount of your salary, you might be able to shave a little bit off the cost of your commute one or two days a week. Even if you’re currently working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, offices may not stay that forever. Try to get clarity on your employer’s plan to return to the office and then decide if you’re comfortable working in an office setting again. If you’re able to prove that you’re an effective employee both in and out of the office during your probationary period, why not ask your boss for work from home flexibility?
Unless you have a stay at home parent or you plan to have a “Bring your kids to work” day every day, you’re going to need to fork out a good amount of cash for some form of childcare. Many employers these days will offer to pay a portion of your childcare costs so be sure to ask!
What employer doesn’t want their employees to be continually growing and getting better at their jobs? Ask your employer to help you do just that and sponsor you to attend a workshop or conference. Of course, this will actually need to be relevant to your job (no free trips to Comicon here). But if you’re able to convince your boss that this would be good for you and the company as a whole, they shouldn’t have a problem with paying for some continuing education here and there.
Similar to educational opportunities, your goal here is simply to get better at your job and grow within your role. Your boss may be willing to set you up with a mentor with whom you can learn and meet regularly for feedback and instruction.
If you’re joining an early stage startup, owning a share of equity will most likely be a very real part of your compensation package. The amount of equity you have can directly affect the size of your paycheck. That being said, it’s important to do your research on the size of startup you’re joining and their funding, their business model, and the team you’ll be working with.
A severance package is what you can expect to receive if you’re let go from a job for no fault of your own. Having one defined in your contract is a good idea to make sure you and your employer are on the same page in case, for whatever reason, the job doesn’t work out down the line. Do your research on what a typical severance package looks like for someone in your position with similar years of experience.
Of course, negotiating each and every item on this list will probably send the message that you’re not exactly taking the job because you believe in the company mission. Again, be careful to not over negotiate your compensation, but do your best to make sure you’re being given what’s fair based on your experience and role at the company.
Got any questions about salary and benefits negotiations? Leave them in the comments below and the Scouted team will do our best to answer!