6 Things You Should Always Be Negotiating (Other Than Salary)

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 14, 2024 at 2:37AM UTC

When you’re landing that new, coveted role, you’re excited — but you also know it’s important to negotiate. Salary, of course, is the first thing on your mind; you want to be paid what you’re worth. But that’s not the only part of your compensation package you should consider. 

In fact, salary, generally speaking, should only make up about two-thirds to three-quarters of your total compensation package if you're a full-time employee. And there’s more beyond even benefits to think about.  

Whether you’re a job seeker looking to get the best out of their job offer or a current employee looking for a promotion, here are some things besides salary that you should negotiate.

What should you always negotiate at work?

1. Title.

While your title doesn’t add monetary value, it does carry weight in the professional world, whether you’re networking or looking for a new role. That’s why negotiating your title is an important part of the hiring and promotional processes.

2. PTO.

In today’s world, many employers have come to realize the importance of affording employees paid time off (PTO). Vacation, personal days and other compensated time are critical parts of work life — not just for employees’ mental and physical health but also for employers, who don’t want to realize the effects of presenteeism or overworked employees.

3. Remote work.

The pandemic underscored the importance of remote work. But even before that, the need for skipping the commute and being able to work from multiple locations (or just from a home base) was proving to be a popular and necessary concept. It’s clear that remote work has many benefits to both employers and employees — and has the capacity to facilitate a much better work-life balance. If you’re someone who’s being called back into the office but wants to work more often (or full-time) from home, this is definitely something you can try to negotiate. 

4. Flexible hours.

They’re not the same thing as remote work, but flexible hours go hand in hand with the concept. Essentially, workers are looking for less rigidity in their schedules, and that not only means the ability to work from home but also the idea of having more control — when and where you work, depending on your needs.

5. Insurance.

Your health is critical, of course, and one of the most important benefits you should negotiate as a current or prospective employee is that related to your health. Health insurance, along with dental, vision and other perks that have to do with your well-being, is a critical part of your overall compensation package.

6. Education reimbursements.

Before and during your career, you wanted to keep learning and growing, whether you’re searching for an entry-level job or are a C-suite executive. Education reimbursements, from in-house courses to funded advanced degrees, will help you gain the skills to succeed — and your employer can help you get there, through education and training reimbursements.

How to negotiate for things other than salary

It’s just as important to negotiate benefits as it is to negotiate your salary. Often, you may even find that it’s easier to ask for more benefits than it is to ask for more money. It’s a great way to get the compensation you deserve, even if the prospective or current employer has a limited budget to work with.

Start by choosing the appropriate time. 

That’s usually when you’ve received an offer, but it could also happen during a salary review or promotion discussion. Make sure the employer gives you a full rundown on the benefits package, and be sure to have a list ready on the perks that matter the most to you.

If the things you want aren’t included in the benefits (or at least not named), then this is the time to start negotiating. 

Know what's on the table.

Before you begin, make sure you’re aware of the types of compensation that are negotiable and those that aren’t — some benefits, like disability coverage, are legally regulated. But many, such as PTO and remote work, very well could be open for discussion.

Know how far you’re willing to go.

For example, would you be satisfied reducing your salary a bit in order to receive a particular non-salary benefit? Make sure you vocalize your reasoning, too, and explain how these perks will help them by, for instance, making you a more effective and productive worker.

Ultimately, if an employer understands how valuable you are, they may be more than willing to ensure you’re well-compensated — in terms of salary and otherwise.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What’s the no. 1 thing you negotiate at work besides salary? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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