How to Negotiate Benefits

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Unfortunately, not all dream jobs come with dream compensation packages, and employers sometimes have little or no appetite for bumping up their initial salary offers. Through good negotiation, however, you might be able to net yourself some extra benefits. If you plan to negotiate your benefits package, keep the following in mind.

– Extra time off functions like a raise. Your employer may have a fixed amount they can pay you for the year. But if you know you can do the job they’re asking of you in less time than they’re expecting, you may be able to negotiate fewer hours on the job, effectively increasing your hourly pay rate.

– Do your research. Your negotiation is more likely to succeed if you can demonstrate that other people in your area with similar jobs receive the benefits you’re requesting.

– Look to the future. Employers may be understandably reluctant to grant you extra money or benefits before they have a chance to see you at work. If that’s the case, you may be able to negotiate an early performance review, perhaps at six months rather than a year, which gives you a chance to restate your case for extra compensation after you’ve proven your worth.

– Think about your schedule. If benefits with financial costs are locked, you may still be able to negotiate lifestyle improvements for yourself. Employers are sometimes willing to give on schedule, and you may be allowed to telecommute, work fewer days with longer hours, or alter your schedule on a weekly or daily basis so that you can be available when your family needs you.

– Be professional. If you come off as greedy or out-of-line, your requests for additional benefits may result in the company withdrawing the job offer. Make sure you’re clear about your reasoning and moderate in your requests, and always be professional while you’re negotiating.

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