5 Nontraditional Things It's OK to Negotiate In Your Job Offer

You've passed the ATS, made it through the resume sift, aced the initial interviews, and you've just received an offer. Hurrah! You’ve earned a celebration! But before you get started, you have one more potential hurdle to cross—negotiating your compensation package.

negotiating offer

Annual compensation is the value of your total package. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, salary makes up about 70 percent of compensation and "benefits costs" is about 30 percent.

Salary is clearly the big-ticket item people focus on. You shouldn't dismiss this figure, but keep in mind there are other valuable perks you can pursue. Here’s what you should be negotiating in your offer you may be overlooking.

1. Professional development opportunities

Even if this opportunity is your dream position, chances are you'll want to continue to grow professionally to move upward or laterally in your career. Employer-sponsored professional development opportunities, such as certification courses, informational seminars, online learning programs, and tuition reimbursements are a nice addition to any compensation package.

2. Commuter benefits

Commuter subsidy options are a great benefit to have included in a package. See if your employer will offer you any of the following perks:

  • Pre-tax options to help offset commuting costs
  • Bus, train, or parking passes
  • Reimbursement—or partial reimbursement—of gas and tolls

If you live in the DC region or any other major metropolitan area, you know how expensive the daily commute can be. You've got nothing to lose by negotiating for commuter benefits, but potentially much to gain.

3. Remote or flexible work options

In addition to cash savings from commuter benefits, think of the savings you'd see from working from home once or twice a week or being able to take your work with you to a sunny location for a few days. Statistics consistently show workers feel more productive and less stressed when they have remote or flexible work options. Employers are noticing the difference too, making it one perk they’re likely to grant when asked.

Tip: If remote work isn't an option, ask if they can offer flex-time where you can work 40 hours in four days and have the option of taking long weekends.

4. Better job title

If your new job title is nondescript or outdated, negotiate ways it can be renamed. Even if you feel it's just a job, and it doesn't matter what you're called as long as you bring home the bacon, it truly does. Consider how the current job title will affect pursuing future opportunities—if your title is potentially a liability, negotiate a better one.

Tip: Job title negotiation is an item you should revisit from time to time, especially if your job description or responsibilities change.

5. Other perks

Other benefits you can ask about are full or partial paid daycare options, additional PTO days, wellness programs, and gym memberships, to name a few.

Negotiation tips

A recent study found 63 percent of candidates seek out benefits during the job search. When negotiating your overall compensation package, it can't hurt to ask for extra perks. We've got some tips to help you get started.

  • List any benefits you consider important
  • Rank benefits in order of priority (identify your "must have" perks!)
  • Do a competitive analysis to see what is common in your industry
  • Be strategic with your timing—ask during the onboarding process after they've chosen you

Extra benefits are a nice way to earn additional compensation, especially if you've landed a job in an organization with a good culture, but your salary is a little leaner than you'd hoped.

Think about the number of conventional and non-conventional ways to boost your annual compensation. Bottom line, these perks are often worth far more than an extra few thousand in your annual salary. Keep this in mind before signing on the dotted line and accepting an offer.

Remember, it can't hurt to ask. The worst that can happen is the employer says no (and you move onto the next item on your wish list!)—or, stay in your current job and keep looking. In today's candidate-driven market, the right opportunity could be right around the corner.
 

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