Deserve more money? The first step is negotiating a higher salary, either after receiving a new job offer or during the annual review. However, sometimes employers can’t pay more. This does not mean that they can’t afford to help by offering a better benefits package. Benefits packages are more than healthcare and a retirement plan; be creative and ask for what you want.
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1. Paid Time Off
At least 25 percent of the American workforce is not offered paid time off by their employers. Add to this the fact that those who are offered paid time off often do not take advantage of it, and America is an overworked nation.
Vacation, however, may be the easiest thing to negotiate. It costs an employer much less to give you an additional week of paid time off than to add more money to your paycheck. Time off from work contributes greatly to quality of life, so consider negotiating for additional vacation in lieu of a higher salary, especially if the company really can’t afford to pay you more.
In your interview (or job review,) emphasize the importance paid time off as a workplace benefit. Discuss how you will:
- Leave the work in good hands; for example, how you will train your assistant or leave well-written instructions for a temporary replacement. You want your employer to feel confident that things won’t fall apart while you are away.
- Hit the ground running when you return. Vacation is rejuvenating and refreshing and gives us the energy we need to perform exemplary work.
2. Continuing Education
This goes beyond asking for tuition credits, and includes training and workshops for professionals who need continuing education credits to maintain licensure or who wish to learn additional skills and acquire new credentials.
If you wish to attend college, you may negotiate your employer paying for classes that will increase your skill set at work. In other words, your employer may be willing to cover the cost of classes that directly impact your contributions to the company, but not your electives.
If you need continuing education credits and are unable to negotiate for higher salary, help maintaining your licensure or standing is beneficial to both you and your employer.
If there is workshop or seminar that you want to attend that will help you grow professionally, even if not required, discuss with your employer how the new skills will help you give back to the business you work in. You may be able to negotiate tuition and travel costs to attend.
The catch here, of course, is your commitment to this employer. If your employer is wise, he may agree to pay your educational costs with the caveat that you stay in his employ for a specific number of years. If you quit before this time, you may owe him the costs of your education.
The cost of childcare takes a large bite out of a parent’s salary. If your employer is unable to offer you more money, consider asking for financial assistance with childcare costs as a benefit of working. Even if your employer is able to cover only part of the costs of childcare, something is better than nothing.
Tell Us What You Think
What benefit do you want to negotiate? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.