Friday, October 11, 2013

What Items Can You Negotiate For? Here's a List

Question:  What's negotiable in an offer of unemployment?

Answer:  Everything!

Upon receiving an offer for employment, my clients frequently ask the question:  What can I negotiate for besides salary?  The answer is everything that is part and parcel of the job.

What's negotiable? 
If it pertains or relates to the job - it's negotiable.   Most job seekers, upon receiving an offer, are aware that they can negotiate for a higher salary if they choose to.  But suppose the firm has reached the limit of $$$ it is willing to pay for a position.  That, in and of itself, doesn't mean there is nothing left to negotiate for.  If it is an item related to the job, and your successful performance of that job, it is open for negotiation.

If it pertains or relates to the job - it's negotiable. 

What's negotiable besides $alary?
When I work with clients who have an offer in hand, some are surprised that there are other things to negotiate besides salary.  Others are aware of this option, but don't know what other things they can negotiate for.

Think about it this way:  If it is an item that relates to the performance of the job, or assists an employee to perform the job, it's negotiable.   Here's how to identify items that are potential things to negotiate.  Ask yourself this question:  
    • What do I need in order to not only perform the job but to excel in it?  
Your answer will form the list of the items you will want to discuss in your negotiation.

Here's a list of items that job seekers have negotiated for:
Benefits to provide greater coverage for you
Benefits to cover your family members
Benefits to begin sooner than a specified waiting period (should the firm have a wait period)
Work schedule
Work space
Vacation benefits
Start date
Membership in your profession's professional association
Membership in a health club
Commuting costs
Academic degrees
Conferences you need to attend
Authority to hire/fire/purchase
Ability to interact with other department/firms/organizations
Travel schedule / costs
Trips home if working abroad or a non-daily commutable distance from home
Rights to any discoveries / publications / patents you produce while employed by firm
Right to present reports on discoveries / publications / patents/ program or work progress
Performance Review done earlier than the firm's regularly scheduled Annual Reviews
Outplacement services
Clothing allowance if the job requires uniforms or dress requirements
Clothing care such as dry cleaning, laundry if the job requires uniforms or dress requirements
Auto / Car allowance / maintenance costs / mileage
Savings plan - 401K contribution, retirement, etc.
Publications / periodicals
Supplies not provided on the job but needed to perform your job

The list is just about endless.   
(1) The key is to figure out what is important to you and the employer in performing this job, and ask for it.
(2) Your requests need to be reasonable and clearly related to performance of the job.
You won't get everything you ask for, but you will probably walk away from the negotiation with more than you would have . . . . . had you not negotiated!

 It is a given that if you don't ask for it, you definitely won't get it. 

If you don't ask, you won't get.
Negotiation doesn't mean you will get everything you want, or even close to it.  However, it is a given that if you don't ask for it, you definitely won't get it.  They key is to give careful consideration to what it will take for you to be a happy and productive worker in the organization for which you are interviewing.  Then talk about it in a conversation with the firm's representative.  

And, here's a final encouragement to try your hand at negotiating your next job offer:  Successful negotiation will add to your success on the job. 
For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tabs of the AJC–Career Strategy website.
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