What You Can Negotiate in a Job Offer (Other Than Salary)
So you’ve received a job offer. Congratulations! You may be anxious to accept what’s presented in it right away, but remember that a job offer is the beginning of an important negotiation. In addition to salary, you can negotiate nearly anything in a job offer, from benefits to vacation time. Knowing this will help you get the most out of your new job and ensure you’re compensated appropriately, whether in the form of money or other perks.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you can negotiate in a job offer, plus negotiating tips and strategies for doing so.
1. Paid time off (PTO)
Employers commonly include a certain amount of vacation time, or paid time off (PTO), in a job offer. The offer may also detail how PTO is acquired and when it can be used. This is a benefit that is negotiable, so if you feel you’d like to have more vacation time or acquire it differently, let the employer know you’d like to negotiate.
You may have to budge in other areas of your job offer in order to get more PTO, and it’s up to you to decide if the tradeoff is worth it. Be sure to convey how more vacation time will make you a better employee for the company.
2. Ability to work from home
Many of today’s jobs can be done remotely, leading companies to allow their employees to work from home. Ask the employer about their work from home policy, and don’t hesitate to negotiate it. You may be able to obtain a work from home day once a week, or have the option to work from home under circumstances like illness, inclement weather, transportation issues or other personal matters. Helpful negotiation strategy: iterate to the employer that working from home will allow you to maintain productivity, even when you can’t physically make it to the office, rather than missing a day of work.
3. Job title
Your official job title at the new company is usually written out somewhere in the offer letter. This title, however, isn’t set in stone. After interviewing with the company and learning what your responsibilities will be in your new role, you may feel as though a different title better suits the position. Make this clear to the employer and see if they’re willing to negotiate your title.
4. Relocation expenses
If your new job requires you to relocate, ask if the employer will provide relocation assistance. They may cover the costs of your flight, temporary accommodations while searching for a permanent home, selling your previous home and purchasing a new one, shipping of your belongings and more. Any moving expenses you end up paying out of pocket can be written off on your taxes, so keep your receipts. See our blog on negotiating a relocation package for more information and helpful negotiation tips and strategies.
5. Flexibility in your schedule
Depending on the company’s culture and the nature of the work, you may be able to negotiate a flexible schedule. That may mean the option to come in early or late, leave early or late, take a long lunch, leave work for an appointment during working hours, etc. As long as you work your required number of hours each week and complete your work done on time, many employers are fine with negotiating a certain amount of flexibility.
6. Professional development
There’s always room to improve your skills, learn an entirely new skill or train for a new role while employed at a company. Inquire about any professional development programs the employer may offer, such as paying tuition for night classes or online education that will help improve your job performance. There may also be internal programs allowing you to receive training from colleagues and potentially change departments at the company if desired.
BONUS: What usually isn’t negotiable?
You may have heard the term “everything is negotiable,” but some aspects of a job offer are inherently difficult to negotiate. These include:
• Insurance benefits like medical coverage, life insurance, disability insurance, etc.
• 401(k) or other company retirement plan
• Paid holidays and sick leave
There are often strict laws and regulations in place that make these items nearly impossible to negotiate. It’s best to pick your battles and focus your efforts on other elements of the job offer that are more open to negotiation.
Relocating for the job? Ask your new employer about temporary furnished housing
Will you need to relocate for the new job you’re considering taking? Ask the employer if they’ll provide you a short-term furnished apartment to stay in while you search for more permanent accommodations. It’s less costly than a hotel and makes the transition to your new city much smoother.