Negotiating on benefits: Sure, you can supplement my take-home pay with chocolate.
August 16, 2012 10:22 PM   Subscribe

I know how to negotiate on salary. Tell be about negotiating on benefits. What have you asked for and received that really sweetened a job offer for you?

I'm in Australia, so health insurance isn't a major concern, but I do want to take advantage of any tax concessions or salary packaging options available to not-for-profit employees. These seem really complicated so I'd love to hear how you've structured them. I'm also interested in hearing about any non-monetary factors you negotiated for that have really improved your quality of life.
posted by embrangled to Work & Money (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps too obvious an answer, but I'd always try to negotiate for extra vacation/holiday time and (more) flexible working hours. For me, time away from work is often more valuable than the money earned at work. YMMV.

You can also ask the organization to fund training & further education, professional certifications, attendance at conferences, etc.

Caveat: I'm not at all aware of the financial situation of Australian non-profits, so some of these answers may not apply.
posted by ladybird at 11:49 PM on August 16, 2012

I've successfully negotiated significant additional vacation time when I knew I was the top choice candidate. Colleagues have negotiated additional maternity leave years ahead of their pregnancies.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 1:17 AM on August 17, 2012

More vacation time. Ask for an extra week-- and also ask that you accrue additional leave time on the same schedule as everyone else (that is, if every starts with 2 weeks and goes to 3 weeks at the five year mark and 4 weeks at the ten year mark and you start with 3 weeks, you want to be sure you move up to 4 weeks at the five year mark).
posted by idest at 5:18 AM on August 17, 2012

Depending on your industry, the right to work from home a few days a week can make life much better for some folks (my partner is happier and more productive now that he does this).

Transportation - metrocard, cab fare, whatever.

Education - Conference budget, classes, industry ebook account, time off for conferences or classes, fun stuff like that.

Read your employment agreement. Negotiate on anything in there that really matters to you - depending on the industry, that can mean intellectual property rights, NDAs, a few companies put severance agreement type stuff in there from the start, &c.

Health insurance isn't a concern for you, but does that include dental and vision? (I'm not Australian, so I don't know. Making sure to get those is important to me.) Or you could go for the extra stuff, like coverage for massage, acupuncture, whatever other body-related quality of life services interest you. (This sounds like a joke, but isn't. I get a free massage every month and a half or so at my job.)

Putting aside vacation time, what about sick time? Do they keep track of it? Can you convince them not to?

I also agree with everyone above - more vacation time is the definitely the big winner.
posted by 168 at 6:10 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Relocation expenses and cost of living adjustments (granted this last is salary, but they can intersect)

Tip: it doesn't just have to be the physical moving of your stuff and you. It can be things like requirements for different work clothes (hot to cold moves for example, or various protective gear if your job requires).
posted by Feantari at 9:34 AM on August 17, 2012

I recommend the book Get Paid What You're Worth. It's a quick read, and I probably earn $5k more per year today because during my last job search I took the time to think through its lessons. I'm sure there are other books out there, but this is a good one.
posted by RobinFiveWords at 11:58 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

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