When most professionals consider the goal of review season, their first instinct is to chase after more zeroes on their paycheck. A higher salary is most notably associated with success — after all, as you climb the ladder, you expect to be compensated for your ascent. But as career and branding expert Wendi Weiner explains, sometimes a raise may not be in the future due to time or budget constraints.
While unfortunate and disappointing, you shouldn’t just throw in your hand and wave a white flag in defeat. Instead of only strategizing for monetary gains, professionals are encouraged to chase after a different type of satisfaction: balance! Whether you are seeking new employment and bargaining the terms of your hire or you’re discussing your trajectory at your current company, there are plenty of asks to make that make your life — in and outside of the office — that much happier.
Here, some worth fighting for:
Professional development opportunities
Maybe you aren’t currently eligible for an uptick in your take-home pay, but an investment in your skills are in the cards. Weiner suggests approaching your manager to see if he/she would help fund a new professional certification to help enhance your training or education.
This might be a leadership course or technical class at a local college, a mini MBA — or a full one. It’s an ask plenty of savvy workers are starting to bargain for, according to Weiner. If your business is lean and doesn’t have the funds to support, don’t fret.
Weiner notes there are other routes: “Consider also obtaining additional training by attending workshops, seminars, and other conferences to ramp up your skills and knowledge and see if your boss will help get you thereby supporting the financial aspects of it.”
To save on the high cost of office space and to attune to the new digital landscape that makes working from anywhere not only realistic but effective — it isn’t unreasonable to approach your boss about remote work. Even if you only shoot for a work-remotely Friday situation or the option to be away from your desk three times a month of your choice, business coach Christine Argo says it’s a smart idea.
“Not only will this give you the freedom to set your own work hours — as long as you are available when you are needed — it will also reduce your commuting expenses, whether that’s subway fare, train or gas, and tolls and in the end, can actually give you more time to work, because you cut out the travel time,” she continues.
If you happen to be in the entrepreneur world, your CEO will likely be open-minded to your own forward-thinking aspirations. When your manager isn’t able to meet your salary requirements, explain other ways to fulfill and further your career at the company by illustrating your desire to start something of your own. Professor Dr. Wendy Osefo says that while this request is often seen in academic or research fields, it is making its way to other industries.
“Start-up funding is when the employer gives the employee and specified amount of money to spend towards developing and or launching an outside venture,” she explains. “This allows for you the employee to spend time developing a project you are passionate about with both the financial and creative capital of your employer.”
More paid time off
Europeans are flabbergasted by the lack of paid time off for American workers and for good reason: there are no required out-of-office days by the government. Rather, it is fully up to the employer to decide what’s fair. If you’re feeling cheated by finances, Weiner urges professionals to make a case for more PTO.
“Approach your boss and negotiate additional perks that may include reimbursement for extra days off for that vacation you have been longing to take,” she says.
If you’ve been with your company for more than a few years, it’s appropriate to try for more than just a day or two. Weiner says to go for another week.
Wellness at work
Maybe your boss can’t give you a larger income, but can they contribute to your health? Argo says they sure can if you defend the need for wellness programs. Whether a yoga class, healthy snacks in the office or all of the above, come prepared with easy-to-implement solutions.
“Maybe that empty ‘box’ room could have some workout equipment. Maybe lunchtime and after work, they could bring in a yoga teacher or meditation expert to help support not only your well-being but everyone’s,” she explains.
If you need proof, Argo reminds there are plenty of studies that demonstrate the positive effects these activities have on productivity and workplace satisfaction.