When you receive an offer letter for a new job, excitement sets in – as it should. Congrats! Take a breath and give yourself at least 24 hours before responding, to get yourself in the right mindset for negotiation. Yes, you have to negotiate the job offer. When you receive a new job offer, it’s important to remember that everything is on the table. But what if you’re happy with the salary offered, and know it’s what you deserve for your role and its responsibilities, as well as your experience and past accomplishments? You can – and should – negotiate benefits. You should be happy with everything offered: your schedule, your health and wellness plan, your 401K, and your career development plan.
When we say everything is on the table, we mean everything. For starters, you could negotiate a better title. If you’re comfortable with your starting title, you can negotiate a firm date for promotion within a year to properly earn a better title. You may not feel ready for the higher title just yet, but you can negotiate a plan to get there so you don’t have to wonder for the next two or three years when you’ll be considered for a promotion, if at all. To negotiate this, ensure you’re setting a benchmark you intend to reach for them. For example, if you hit a certain revenue mark within one year, you get the title bump. To negotiate a higher starting title, this is your opportunity to remind them of the achievements you’ve made in past experience that are required for the job in the higher position or use this opportunity to state any achievements you hadn’t already covered in your resume or the interview process.
Professional Development Budget
A new benefit we’re excited to see become more popular is the professional development budget. If you’re happy with the salary offered, consider how much of that salary may be put into conferences, courses, or other training fees. If you’re interested in attending a conference out of state that’s tied to your job, you shouldn’t have to pay for that. Those can get expensive! Your company may be willing to pay for an annual conference. Consider negotiating for a set budget amount yearly to compensate some activity that helps with your career development. Make a point to emphasize what your professional development and learning can do for them.
Flexible Schedule or Remote Work
Are you enjoying the remote work life? You may have resigned from your last position and have found a new job for just this reason. Many are resigning from their current jobs when their employers ask them to return to the office. If this is the case for you, you can put your energy into negotiating a remote work schedule as opposed to a higher salary. If a hybrid remote/office schedule works for you, or if you’re willing to agree to their in-office requirement, you can also negotiate for a flexible schedule. When pushing for that, you’ll want to state your desired hours clearly, whether that be 9am-3pm or 10am-2pm or just mornings or just afternoons. And like with anything else, you’ll want to state what’s in it for the company (i.e., if you’re most productive working from home, they’ll see better performance). Having the ability to choose your schedule will cut down on commute time, gas money, and help you earn a healthier work/life balance. You’ll be much happier, and that’s the goal when accepting a job offer. Both parties should be happy with the agreement.
Your Paid Time Off
Do you want more paid time off? That’s also negotiable. If you’re used to getting three or four weeks off annually and they’re currently offering two weeks, you have the ability to ask for more time off or holiday hours (the last week of the year off). Getting time with your loved ones, to pursue your passions, or just to avoid burnout is essential to career success. Most employers understand that. Emphasize the benefits they’ll receive if they allow the extra time off for you to refresh and reset.
Other Monetary Benefits
There are many monetary employee benefits in addition to salary compensation. Have you considered negotiating a severance package? Though you don’t want to plan for the divorce when you’re planning the wedding, it’s best to be prepared for the worst. The same idea applies to the job offer. You should prepare for the possibility that someday you could be laid off or fired. Negotiate for a severance package, should that happen. You should also consider bonuses, on top of your base salary. Ask them if they offer a signing bonus, or ask them to put it in your offer letter that if you reach certain performance benchmarks then you earn a set performance bonus. Lastly, you may be able to negotiate certain reimbursements, so your month’s salary doesn’t all go to paying bills. Some companies offer internet, phone, travel (commute to work), or student loan reimbursement. You could have your phone bill or gas money handed to you each month! Review the employee benefit guidelines and, if allowed, negotiate a monthly or quarterly reimbursement program, citing that you’ll be using your internet or phone for work at home or commuting to the office for them. Your argument should always come back to what you can do for them.
Congrats on the new job! Celebrate with loved ones, then get to work on negotiating your offer. You should be happy with the new working relationship. And you won’t get what you want if you don’t ask; there’s never any harm in asking. Good luck! For more new job tips, keep following our blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel to listen to new podcast episodes.