Employee benefits are a huge part of the job offer. Make sure you're getting the goods.
Catherine Conlan, Monster contributor
As you prepare to start your new job, don’t leave essential perks on the table. A little bit of negotiating can get you some extras that can make your work a lot more pleasant in the short term and position you for greater success in your career. Here are five essential job perks you should hold out for.
“Forget the company car and expense accounts,” says Denise Riebman, director of career development and alumni services at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. "People should worry less about immediate perks that will do little for their career or personal happiness, and instead focus on long-term perks that can truly impact their career success.”
One example would be holding out for development and enrichment. “Funding to pay for professional development (training/certifications), association memberships and conferences can provide longer term gain by beefing up resumes and enhancing professional networks,” Riebman says.
If an employer can’t quite match the salary you were hoping for, try to tie it to performance, Riebman says. “If you are unable to negotiate for the salary you want now due to employer financial limitations or that you haven't yet proven yourself, negotiate for a six-month performance review rather than one year,” she says. Then, you can renegotiate your salary after showing them how valuable you are to the company.
A better title
Another way to mitigate a salary that’s lower than you had hoped is to have the company balance it out with a better title, Riebman says. “Getting them to give you a better job title is a free way that an employer can give you more credibility in your field,” she says. Plus, when it's time to search for a new job, your bumped-up title will impress that much more.
More time off
It doesn’t hurt to try to get a little more vacation, says Peggy Murphy, vice president of Eliassen Group, and IT staffing and consulting firm. "Anyone who is about to start a new full-time job should always be looking to add vacation time during the negotiation process,” Murphy says. “For seasoned professionals, you do not want to be starting over with three paid weeks off, particularly if you had been somewhere else and had accumulated five or six weeks off during that time. You may not get it, but it doesn't hurt to ask, particularly when your family has grown accustomed to you having that additional time off.”
Work-from-home options can be a great way to gain a little flexibility. Try negotiating for the ability to work from home even a couple days each week. You can save money on transportation costs, not to mention cut down on your stress levels. A flexible schedule with adjustable hours is also an option. Best of all, it doesn't cost your employer a penny, but the payoff on your end is huge.