It can feel like a daunting task to negotiate your salary. We have been told that asking for more money isn’t polite. As a millennial, however, I firmly believe you should always negotiate your salary when you’re starting a new job, as well as when you’re up for a promotion with your current company. Though this can admittedly be a challenge, it can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
That said, sometimes it isn’t possible to negotiate your base salary. There may be a wage freeze, or the company may simply not be able to offer more for that position. If you find yourself in a situation like this, there are other items that make up your total compensation that you can negotiate instead.
By bringing up these three things during salary negotiations, I’ve been fortunate enough to get higher compensation. Now it’s your turn.
If you’re anything like me, you’d kill for another week of vacation. It may surprise you that you don’t need to go to extremes at all; this is probably one of the easier items to negotiate. In my experience, most companies would rather give you another week off than increase your base salary, especially if they have compensation costs they are trying to keep under control. So, don’t hesitate to ask.
If your company can’t increase your base salary, or if you have costs that you have to pay back to a former employer, it can definitely be worth it to ask for a signing bonus. Keep in mind, though, when you have costs to back, it’s really important to give your new employer a firm number. I’ve found a new employer typically doesn’t want you to pay anything out of pocket for taking on the new job, so they are willing to find a way to make this work.
Tuition or Tuition Reimbursement
If you’re planning on pursuing education to further yourself in your new role, you might want ask your new company to cover the cost of your education. It’s all in how you frame it. Remember, in many situations, covering this expense will mean a tax deduction for the company. Plus, you’re furthering your skills as an employee, making you a better asset to have. It’s a win-win. If you can spin it as a positive to them, they are more likely to pay for what you’re asking for.
Regardless of what you’re asking for, it can be scary, but know that you will be in a better financial situation for doing so. So, when you’re feeling those nerves, remember that your future self will thank you for fighting for your ability to increase your income.