This article was updated on September 28, 2021.
When you think of negotiating a job offer, most people immediately think of salary and getting the most money. Unfortunately, money only goes so far, and corporations are limited by the amount they can pay you.
Because of this, understanding some of the less asked for but extremely valuable benefits that can be included in a job offer is essential to getting the most out of your next contract.
The importance of negotiating a job offer
Unfortunately, the majority of people accept a job without any attempt to negotiate a better job offer.
According to this article by The Washington Post, only 38% of millennials negotiated their first job offers, 48% of Baby Boomers negotiated their job offers, and 46% of Gen Xers negotiated their current job offers.
However, the vast majority of employers expect potential employees to at least attempt to negotiate a better job offer. With so few being willing to negotiate, NPR estimates that failing to deal can cost you between 1 million and 1.5 million dollars over your lifetime!
5 things you should always negotiate in a job offer
Now that you see how much money and benefits you may have been leaving on the table, it’s important to look at negotiating some of these essential items in your next contract.
1. Higher salary
It obviously needs to be listed but should not be your only focus.
When negotiating a salary, always aim for more than you feel you’re entitled, and be ready to support your request with supporting information.
Information presented should include industry norms as well as your experience and the value you will bring to the company.
2. Sign on bonus
Because salaries are commonly tied to a company’s pay structure, hiring managers often have more flexibility in the form of a sign-on bonus rather than permanent salary increases.
Because other people within the company can be negatively affected by you having a higher starting salary, hiring managers are more willing to offer you a lump sum sign-on bonus to sweeten the job offer.
3. Education reimbursement
With the increasingly high cost of post-secondary education, many employers offer job offers focused on reimbursing employee education expenses. Some employers may offer to help pay off your student loans, while others will agree to pay for additional education and certifications.
Don’t dismiss the benefits of educational reimbursements because the most significant investment you can make is in yourself. If your employer is willing to subsidize or pay for your education, that’s a win-win for everyone!
4. Additional vacation time
Even though most Americans are reluctant to take vacation time, some of the most well adjusted and successful employees have an outstanding work-life balance.
It’s essential to make time for yourself outside of work to regroup and relax so you can come back to your employer refreshed and energized.
Because attaining additional vacation time is often easier than additional salary, asking for a week or two is certainly something you may be successful in receiving.
5. Vehicle allowance or a flexible schedule
Depending on how far away you live, your employer may be willing to subsidize you with a vehicle allowance or a company car. With the increase in telecommuting options, a flexible schedule may be a more viable option for your situation.
Rather than coming into the office five days a week, you may be able to negotiate to work from home three of your five days, which can save you significant commuting costs.
Don’t sell yourself short
Most of us don’t realize the amount of value and benefit we can bring to a company. During a negotiation, the employer is trying to entice you to work for them while offering you the minimum.
Don’t be afraid to show your worth to the company and back it up with statistics and your experience to get the best job offer you deserve.