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Negotiating Salary? Don’t Forget About Benefits

Ask anyone who's ever paid out-of-pocket for their health insurance: benefits are important. It's too bad, then, that we often overlook benefits when we're negotiating salary. PayScale's recently published Salary Negotiation Guide examines all the factors that go into making up a compensation package that reflects your skills and experience, not just base pay. Keep these in the back of your mind the next time you're negotiating an offer, and you could wind up earning more, saving money, and enjoying better work-life balance.

Ask anyone who’s ever paid out-of-pocket for their health insurance: benefits are important. It’s too bad, then, that we often overlook benefits when we’re negotiating salary. PayScale’s recently published Salary Negotiation Guide examines all the factors that go into making up a compensation package that reflects your skills and experience, not just base pay. Keep these in the back of your mind the next time you’re negotiating an offer, and you could wind up earning more, saving money, and enjoying better work-life balance.

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(Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo)

1. Job title.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Why are job titles important? Because you’re probably not going to retire from your new employer with a pension and a gold watch, and when you move on to your next adventure, you’ll want to make sure that your business card shows off your experience to best advantage. Also, a better job title is often an easier sell than a lot more money.

“While you may not be able to negotiate a higher base salary, think about negotiating for a different title,” suggests Amanda Augustine of TheLadders, in Negotiate Your Benefits. “This request comes at no cost to the employer and allows you to demonstrate a progressive career history on your resume and online profiles.”

2. Educational opportunities.

Many organizations offer tuition reimbursement or assistance, especially for employees who study for degrees and certifications that are relevant to their jobs. Still others provide access to online classes that can help workers develop their practical knowledge of coding, software programs, or other tools that can enhance their resume and broaden their professional horizons. Get the lowdown on what you can expect, before you accept the offer, to make sure you’re clear on how long you need to be employed by the company in order to enjoy benefits like these.

3. Time off.

New employees typically get less vacation time than seasoned veterans, but just because the company doesn’t automatically offer generous time off, doesn’t mean that you can’t bargain for it. The best time to do so is when you’ve asked for a slightly higher salary number than the hiring manager can stretch to offer. You might be surprised at how quickly your request for an extra week off — or even a four-day workweek — will get the OK, if it means that you’ll accept an offer that’s within the budget.

For more about negotiating your benefits, read Amanda Augustine’s column, here.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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