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Part 5

Negotiating Non-Salary Perks

Part 2
Determine your bottom line

After you’ve done some research, interviewed with an employer and been offered a job, you have to make the choice about whether or not it’s a good fit for your needs. Before you accept an offer or make any negotiations, consider what your bottom line is. Decide if you’d be willing to accept the job even if the employer is not willing to comply with additional requests.

Once you know what your personal needs are and what you’re willing to accept, develop a plan for your conversation. If an employer isn’t able to meet your immediate salary needs, consider negotiating for other benefits to make the deal more desirable. These suggestions will help you develop a plan.


1. Show sincere gratitude

If you’ve been given an offer of any kind, the most important instant response is one of gratitude. Before you make any negotiation, it’s important to thank the employer for the opportunity you’ve been given. With that said, it’s also perfectly reasonable to ask for more time to consider your options and make a decision.

If you’ve done your research ahead of time (which you should), you may know immediately whether the offer is strong enough to consider or if you’ll need to negotiate for additional perks to seal the deal. Don’t feel pressure to negotiate unnecessarily but if it’s valuable to you, make your case.


2. Consider all options

These non-salary benefits might make a position more appealing. Make sure you are clear on which of these perks, if any, are a part of your job package and which ones you may need to negotiate for.

  • 401(k) matching programs
  • Health and dental insurance plans
  • Life or disability insurance policies
  • Sick, personal and parental leave
  • Relocation package
  • Housing subsidy
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Transportation reimbursement
  • Personal office space
  • Better job/position title
  • Cell phone subsidy
  • Wardrobe allowance
  • Gym membership
  • Daycare support
  • Flexible scheduling or working from home
  • Additional vacation time
  • Guaranteed severance package


3. Prioritize what’s most valuable to you

If you’re going to negotiate for non-salary benefits, you have to know which ones are the most significant to you. Unnecessary negotiation could negatively impact your future in the company, so you want to ask for things that are especially important to you, not every single item on the list.

Consider your personal preferences and lifestyle and come up with the items you’d like to negotiate for. Using this list, prepare a script that will help you negotiate successfully.


4. Practice your scripts

It is hugely valuable to spend time honing your skill as a communicator. Practicing your scripts with a mentor or career coach will help you become more skilled in communicating clearly and assertively. Use your list of non-salary perks and negotiating scripts to role play an interview. The process of practicing your skills will give you a greater confidence to talk about money and your total compensation package, and you’ll be less likely to blank out in the moment of a real conversation with an employer.


5. Make your request

Understand that tactful negotiation will be received better than sloppy or rude demands. Your ultimate goal is to leave the conversation with an agreement that both parties feel comfortable with. Make sure to use your clear, thought-out plan and communicate your priorities with confidence.

When you present your request for additional job perks, don’t undervalue yourself. If it’s difficult to ask for something for yourself, think about how you would advocate for someone else. When you imagine that you’re doing this for a friend or family member, you may feel more assertive. Be polite while maintaining a firm position of your needs.


6. Get your offer in writing

Once you and your employer have come to an agreement, it’s important to get it in writing. Memory of a conversation can fail us. Someone could tell you “yes, we can make that happen,” but without having a contract in hand, their word means very little.

Having your agreement in writing will mean that your employer is committed to executing the plan. Make sure that your contract is specific enough for all parties to understand exactly what benefits you’ll be earning with your position so there’s no room for confusion down the road.


7. Finish your conversation well

Ending a conversation well is very important. If you’ve come to an agreement of terms with the employer, be sure to extend your sincere thanks again.

If an employer is unable to compromise and you cannot accept the terms of the offer, be sure to thank them for the opportunity regardless. Respectfully explain that the job offer is not a good fit for your needs at this time and reiterate your appreciation for the proposal. This can have a significant impact your professional future.


Remember that a negotiation is a great opportunity for you to impress your boss from the start. Be sure you’re giving a positive impression by making thoughtful requests, showing appreciation and communicating clearly. Each of these habits will be beneficial to your employer and will make you stand out as a candidate for future promotion.

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