How to Negotiate New Job Benefits
New job salary negotiations are my favorite type of discussions.
You (hopefully) have a job or enough of a buffer to give you 3-6 months to find the perfect fit. The cushion of currently being employed also allows for you to take risks and walk away from the table if you and the company are unable to see eye-to-eye. You also have the advantage of having no personal connection to the person you are dealing with. This isn’t your boss who might only make 5% more than you currently do, and would thus, emotionally limit them in giving you a raise.
To put it simply: You are in the advantageous position to maximize your income and benefits.
1. Start with More
If you’re looking for more in your life- why you’re changing jobs in the first place, don’t fall into the trap of thinking only in terms of salary. New job negotiations are beautiful because you can ask for anything. Including benefits current employees don’t even receive.
Of course, take that with a grain of salt. You’re not asking them to buy you a new Mercedes. But, you are asking them to meet you at the table. Think about what you want and ask for more.
If you want $15k on top of your current salary plus 21 days of PTO, and these are reasonable for the position you’re looking for, start by adding $20k more and 28 days of PTO. This anchors the other person to these numbers. And anchoring is key in new job interviews.
2. Be Prepared
Knowing what you want is key in new job negotiations. Do not walk into a meeting, type out an email, or say on a phone call anything about salary expectations without thinking to it prior. No matter how advanced you are in your career, when the topic of salary comes up, even the best employees falter.
Know what you want to ask for salary, PTO, work from home, tuition reimbursement, housing subsidies, starting bonus, etc. These are all important factors that can give you a financial and mental health boost.
Also, before speaking with anyone, know what you’re willing to negotiate. Perhaps not as high of a salary for more work from home days, or a starting bonus if they can’t grant you more PTO. Create solutions for the negotiator that also benefit you.
The ability to discuss what you want, with space to maneuver other benefits will make who you are negotiating with more comfortable. It will also show you are flexible and logical, but firm in wanting to ensure you have a fair offer.
3. Don’t be Coy
You’re a grown professional. Ask for what you want and let them know exactly what you currently have. Showing your cards during an interview and negotiation will develop trust between you and the negotiator.
Career information is seen as secretive and something to protect. By being honest, you’re letting the other party in on a secret. The quickest way to create a personal relationship and shared experience with anyone is secret sharing.
Again, I warn aggressive readers here, don’t ask for too much. But ask for enough that you look confident and bold.
4. Work Your Yeses
Anyone who has read Dale Carnegie’s famous How to Make Friends and Influence People understands what a yes is.
Yes means you have the person hooked. Yes means you can relate.
When the interview and/or negotiation first begin, get your yeses in. Find things in common between you and your interviewer. Find something universally agreeable in the situation related to work.
Yes, this is a tough position.
Yes, the building is in a great location- I love this city!
Yes, work from home is important and I am very happy you offer it to all employees once a week.
Using your yeses on commonalities, make the topics with impasse much easier to maneuver for you and the other party.
5. Take Your Time!
Negotiations might feel high pressure for both parties, but if you’re interviewing for a new job at a different company, you should feel no pressure. Let them feel the heat. They’re the one taking you to dinner, not the other way around.
If an offer is given, one that you need to mull over, kindly respond that you need a day to think about it. And over that day, seriously think about it.
Run your financials, look at your commute (Google Map’s tool allows you to change the time you want to leave), will this job impact your time with your family, at the gym, pursing hobbies? Do a 360 analysis of the job and job offer.
After the 24 hours, respond positively, or, if there’s one thing still bothering you, see if you can negotiate further. Perhaps the commute is an additional 90 minutes and you can get out of your current lease for $5,000- see if they’ll give you the money to buy yourself out. Perhaps there’s a gym in the same complex as the job, see if they’ll pay for your gym membership.
Take the time to make sure the job offer makes you feel whole. If it doesn’t, ask for more. If they don’t bite, move on. There are plenty of jobs in the sea.
Like this article? Tell us what you thought! Have you used any of these techniques during a negotiation?