When many people consider accepting a new job, they only consider the salary and whether it’s too low or insufficient for their needs. But did you know that there are things to negotiate other than salary? And that a higher salary doesn’t always mean a better job? Here’s how to negotiate for other benefits!
Related: How Women Can Negotiate a Higher Salary
What should I consider besides salary?
Yes, making enough money to survive and meet financial goals is important. But there are other things to consider besides your salary.
- happiness in the workplace,
- work-life balance,
- and opportunities for personal and professional growth…
…are commonly ranked as some top reasons why people love their jobs.
So while you should earn a salary commensurate with your experience and what you can offer, there are other things to consider.
Making 6-figures or more won’t make up for the fact that you never sleep, never see loved ones, and hate your job.
Related: What Jobs Pay a Million Dollar Salary?
What can be negotiated besides a salary bump? What benefits can be negotiated?
If you’re currently at a job you enjoy (or tolerate) and want to negotiate to update current benefits, your first thought may be to ask for a raise. And while a raise can be an enticing offer, there are other things you can ask for too.
- Can you work from home, especially after proving you’re a decent worker?
- Can you negotiate a more flexible schedule?
- Is it possible to have more PTO or opportunities to volunteer without taking a hit on your salary?
And, you can still use the benefits discussed below to negotiate at a current job.
Related: How To Get A Raise (Even During A Pandemic)
What should I ask for in a compensation package?
This usually depends on the job you’re applying for and the industry. But at the very least, your compensation package should include health insurance options and some type of PTO. These are certainly important things to negotiate other than salary because they can improve your wellness!
You shouldn’t have to overwork yourself to “prove” that you’re worthy of health care and time off. Your job does not have to take over your life.
Remember, it’s okay to ask for what you want. The worst thing a potential employer can say is no. But when you counter offer, express your interest in the opportunity before going into what you expect.
From there, show your value, why you’ll be an asset to the company, and explain why you’re countering their current rate and benefits. Know what’s truly important to you, the salary or benefits (or both!), and lay them out.
Give them a chance to counter back. You don’t have to be pushy or too hard. But stay firm and be willing to negotiate.
Related: Salary vs Hourly – Which is Best?
Should I accept the first salary offer?
It depends. If you’re happy with the offer, have researched the position, and know it’s on par, then I don’t think you have to negotiate. But, if you know you bring more to the table than they’re paying (or offering benefits) for, then don’t be afraid to speak up.
Related: Jobs That Make the Most Money (Both The Typical AND The Unusual!)
How much do employers expect you to negotiate?
In almost every case, a company expects you to negotiate. In fact, 84% of employers expect job applicants to negotiate their salaries at least during the interview stage.
So if you’re scared to do it, don’t be! You won’t be the first or last; most companies are prepared for it.
Related: What Does It Take to Become a Millionaire? (Hint: It’s Not a Higher Salary!)
Is it rude to negotiate salary?
Most recruiters and companies aren’t offended when you negotiate your compensation, as long as it’s respectful and in a decent timeframe.
Related: Things to Consider Before You Accept That Job
Can negotiating a salary backfire?
I mean…Typically, if you counter on the starting salary, they can say no, and you can still accept the position. The only way negotiating a salary could backfire is if you ask way above the reasonable rate for the job.
In other words, let’s say you’re applying for a analyst role that typically pays $80k a year and that’s what they offer you. If you try to negotiate the starting salary with a $120k counter offer, that’s a bit ridiculous. So ridiculous, in fact, that they might just say see ya later, we don’t want you.
The moral of the story – try to stay within a reasonable range when countering the starting salary offer. If the going rate on the analyst role is $80k, but you have a ton of experience, maybe you can counter with a 10% bump up to $88,000. The most I’d recommend countering above the initial offer (or going rate for the role) is a 20% increase. More than that and you’re risking losing that role.
Related: Wealth Comes From Where You Live…Not Your Salary
So, what are the main things to negotiate in a job offer? What are some things to negotiate other than salary?
Here are 13 benefits you can ask for!
1) A Signing Bonus
If accepting an offer slightly lower than what you want annually, negotiate for a sign-on bonus or the opportunity to earn an annual bonus based on your performance reviews.
And, if you have to relocate for the opportunity, ask for a relocation bonus.
2) Guaranteed Severance Package
If previous recessions and economic changes have taught us anything, they’ve taught us that there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to stay at your job.
You can negotiate a guaranteed severance package. That way, if the company you’re being hired on with goes bankrupt or lays you off due to no fault of your own, you’ll get a parting check to cover you until you find another.
Related: In-Demand Career Options Offering Better Job Security
3) Tuition Reimbursement
Plan on going back to school or want other certifications to do your job better? Try negotiating tuition reimbursement. You can even create an agreement that benefits both you and the company.
An example would be that they pay for your Master’s, and then you work for them for a specific period of time after.
You may also be able to negotiate payment on your student loans, especially if other benefits, like PTO, are lower than you expect.
4) Flexible Scheduling
Having a flexible work schedule can be invaluable. If you don’t need to work specific hours, negotiate your schedule! Maybe you can work four days instead of five. Or maybe you can put in hours throughout the day, as long as you ensure you’ll get your work done.
This is especially helpful for parents, those with chronic illnesses, or those with other jobs or side hustles. As long as you can get your work done, the time you put in shouldn’t matter.
Related: 7 Work Perks You Should Absolutely Have…and 24 That Barely Matter
5) Additional Vacation Time
Every employee deserves a work-life balance. And one of the best ways to get that is vacation or sick leave without worrying about potentially losing your job or losing a chunk of your pay. PTO can equal up to quite a bit more pay, especially if you can negotiate more than two weeks a year.
6) Work From Home Options
Working from home is growing in popularity. And for good reason! Many people have realized that they can be just as productive and still be comfortable in their own home.
If your potential job offers flexibility in their work schedules, or if you know you can make a case for why you can work from home, go for it!
Related: Top Tips For Working From Home Effectively
7) Professional Development Opportunities
Do you want to grow with the company?
Or, maybe you want to learn more about your job, up-level your skills, or earn certifications that help you do your job better (think technology and finance sectors!).
These tools and skills can be invaluable, especially if you decide to get a new job or ask for a raise.
Related: Want to Earn More Money? Start Upskilling!
8) Parental Leave
The truth is that parents (both mom and dad!) deserve time with their newborn or addition to their family.
You should negotiate paid parental leave if you plan on starting a family in the future, whether through birth or adoption. That way, you can enjoy your new addition without worrying about covering costs like your house payments and diapers.
9) Child Care Coverage
Did you know that 62% of families have two working parents?
Gone are the days when (most) families could survive on one income alone. And unfortunately, child care continues to shoot up in price, where working hours become longer.
If you’re a working parent, you’re not alone. You can ask for parental benefits — like child care reimbursement or in-office childcare — so you and the kiddo(s) are happier and can better achieve work-life balance.
Related: When Am I Financially Ready to Buy a House?
10) Commuting Benefits
Will you have a long commute? Negotiate a company car or additional insurance on your vehicle.
You may even be able to have the potential employer cover a certain portion of your automobile expenses.
11) Health & Wellness Benefits
Your health and wellness are important. You can’t work if you’re dead or unstable. On top of health insurance, what else can the company offer?
- Can you get vision and dental coverage?
- Short-term disability?
- Paid gym membership or classes?
There are many benefits to a proper health and wellness package for both you and your employer.
See what you can negotiate. And have a reason on hand if they ask why.
Related: How Your Health Affects Your Finances (For Better AND For Worse!)
12) Work Equipment
If you’ll be working from home or need to carry items for your job (like tools), negotiate for a work equipment budget, or get work equipment purchased for you.
Many jobs do this, including call centers! It’s easier to do your job when you have the right equipment.
13) Stock Options/Long-Term Investments
If you plan on being a part of the company long-term or want to get a head start on your investments, you can negotiate for stock options or other long-term incentives.
While many companies hold these benefits for certain levels, it never hurts to ask.
Related: Don’t Let a Job Switch Nuke Your Retirement
Things To Negotiate Other Than Salary To Get Better Benefits
As you can see, there are many things to negotiate other than salary, and many can add up to a pretty sweet gig!
If you want to work for a company that doesn’t just pay you but that you enjoy, these benefits are certainly worth negotiating for.
Now that you know what things to negotiate other than salary, which ones will you choose to go after?
Grow Rich Money
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.