Negotiating your salary is a given, but there are often things that would make your life and work so much better that you can bargain for too. Trying to create a work/life balance is where most of us are at, and getting more time, a better commute, or just more flexibility can make any job better. Often, at your annual review, your raise is the most obvious negotiation, but even if that does or doesn’t happen there are things that you can talk about that would make working for the company better. Your manager or department head might not even think of these ideas, and you bringing them up will show that you are thinking about new and different ways to create the best workplace.
Your start and end times might not have to be what the company norm is for everyone else. In fact, just an hour or two difference starting and ending can make your life experience so much better. Consider if you would like to be the one to pick up your child from daycare or drop them off. This might be the chance you have to negotiate that and change the family dynamic in one fell swoop. Flexible time doesn’t cost the company anything and you can get the hours that work best for you and your situation.
Sometimes what you really need is a better title at work. Have you been responsible for all of the social marketing, event management and public relations, but your title still says executive assistant? It is time to ask for a better title, and possibly a promotion. This will help where you are today, but it will also help when you are looking for jobs later. Look at current positions outside of your workplace that have some of the same job responsibilities that you currently have to get inspiration to ask for a new title or promotion.
Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. – John F. Kennedy
Even if your company has a maternity or paternity leave policy, you can negotiate different amounts of time, when and how you want to take it, and what your job will look like when you get back. Don’t leave this to the last minute. If you are thinking of having kids before the next review, jump in with some ideas for your manager that they may not think of and read up on what your company already offers.
Sometimes time is more valuable than money and having a real vacation might just be worth everything to you. If you have a hard time getting into the groove of relaxing and often find yourself rushed during your trips, negotiate for more time or multiple times throughout the year. A rested, relaxed employee is often the refreshing face everyone needs on their team.
Getting in on the good projects at work can often be a matter of seniority or who you know. Take a chance by asking to be placed on a project that you have been eyeing off, even if it is a little outside of your comfort zone. Getting exposure through projects can be the thing that pushes you to the next level at work and asking for that placement shows initiative.
Many tech companies offer sabbaticals – extended time off to explore new things – and if you are working for a more forward-thinking company you might be able to negotiate one for your future too. Look into what others do on a sabbatical and come up with a plan for your manager on how you would use the time personally and professionally. This might be the perk that keeps you at the company longer. Especially if you knew you could take a sabbatical every five to ten years.
This often overlooked benefit is good for you and good for the company. The healthier you are, the less sick days that you take. This is a pretty simple thing to negotiate – show them the plans and ask them to pay for the membership in full each year. You will look and feel better once you get this in your package.
Don’t just leave money on the table when you negotiate at work, but take advantage of some of the other possible perks that your employer might not even be thinking about.
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