Benefits can make a huge difference in your compensation package, so don’t overlook them in your salary negotiations!
Non-cash benefits can add 30 – 40% to your total compensation package.
Know what is most important to you. When asked if they’d like more money or a non-cash option like flexible scheduling or time off work, many employees will choose the extra time. If that appeals to you, keep that in mind when negotiating.
In your current position, if a raise isn’t available, ask about a bonus instead. Or ask for a non-cash benefit — maybe an extra vacation day, or flexibility in your work schedule (like being able to leave early on Fridays). Or you may want to come in early to the office but leave earlier in the afternoon. Maybe they’ll let you telecommute (work from home) one day a week.
Consider alternative compensation packages. Work is not just about a paycheck. If you are willing to invest your energy, talent, and expertise in a company, don’t you want something more than a paycheck?
- Other benefits and negotiable items may include:
- Health insurance
- Vacation and sick/personal time
- Retirement plans
- Bonuses and/or incentives (including a signing bonus and profit-sharing plans)
- Tuition reimbursement
- Stock options
- Flexible schedule (telecommuting)
- Other insurance (dental, life, accidental death, disability insurance)
- Company-supplied equipment (laptop, cell phone)
- Company car (or car allowance or other transportation expenses)
- Health club membership
- Association dues
- Relocation expenses
- Discount on company products
- Expense account
- Child care expense reimbursement
- Salary reviews (negotiating more frequent reviews and/or raises based on merit or performance vs. cost-of-living)
- Space (i.e., an office with a window)
- Overtime policies (if it’s available, and you want to work it, to increase your pay)
- Severance package
- And many other benefits
Remember, the point of your job search is finding a job that you will be happy with, that you’ll grow with, and that will allow you to be yourself.
If your salary isn’t the one you dreamed about, but the job offers opportunity for learning and/or growth, think about the possibility of taking the position with the goal of making yourself invaluable to the organization … or positioning yourself for your next job search.
On the other hand, if what the company offers isn’t what you need, you don’t have to take the job. Learn more about what to do with your job offers, and remember that there are other opportunities out there.
Use Activate Your Salary Checklist to put together the best counter-offer.
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