You are getting ready for your annual review, and you see big numbers in your future. You start dreaming about that new car you want to buy, and finally paying off your debt.
You are in the meeting, and your boss says to you, "I'm sorry, but we don't have it in our budget to increase your salary this year. Maybe next..."
Before you decide to throw your chair out the window, take a deep breath and consider these seven things to negotiate for other than your salary. While having more money in your pocket sounds awesome, the more money you make, the more you have to pay in taxes, so why not enjoy some equally as good fringe benefits that will help improve your work life?
But negotiation is hard!
Negotiation is a skill that you must learn in life. Anyone who has "made it" in life has learned how to be an excellent negotiator. There are so many things to negotiate for in life that can help boost your savings account just by asking a few questions.
Some of the best items to negotiate for are:
- Hotel rates
- Renting a vacation apartment
- Interest rates on credit cards
- Deposit fees for apartment rental
- Phone, cable, internet
- Buying a car
With negotiation, all you're doing is asking for a better price or a better deal. When it comes to your salary, if you've already been shot down for a salary increase, you negotiate for items that won't cost your employer a whole lot of money out of pocket, but will, in turn, increase your productivity which in term increases the revenue for your company.
There's nothing better that a boss likes to hear than how you plan to use a fringe benefit to improve efficiency, bring in more customers, and make your boss's job easier.
7 things to negotiate other than your salary
1. Extra vacation time
How much would you love an extra paid week off to spend time with friends and family...or maybe take that solo trip to Europe? This is an easy fringe to negotiate for because it won't cost the company a penny more than they are already paying you. You'll be more relaxed, happier and more inspired to do work hard.
2. Wardrobe allowance
Do you network for your job? Do you go to conferences, or are you on camera? A wardrobe allowance can allow you to look great on someone else's dime. Come up with a budget for how much you've spent on your wardrobe over the last year and present your plan to your boss. Be reasonable with your expense outline…a boss can sniff out when you are trying to take advantage of a perk.
Have you been jonesing to get your master's degree, or maybe go to a cool new conference? Companies love to fund education costs, but most people don't even ask. Make sure you have all of your details handy before you approach your boss, and explain how this fringe benefit could help you grow in your career, i.e. connect the costs with the benefit they will receive.
4. Job title
A bump up in a title at your current job could mean a much higher salary with a future employer. Aim to bump up, at least, one title ahead of where you are currently at – manager, VP, or even a lead role in a large project you are working on will do the trick.
5. Gas expense
While some jobs may have you glued to your computer screen all day at work, other jobs will have you out and about seeing customers and building relationships. If you have a job where you drive at ton for work (again, this has to be work related), negotiate for a per-mile fee or flat rate to reflect the wear and tear on your car and gas expense that you are incurring.
6. A better view
The idea of sitting behind a cube wall staring at a window-less office space sounds like torture to most people. A great perk to negotiate for is that new office space that has just become vacant. Now, you will need to justify why you need this space, so focus on benefits again to the company – you'll be able to work better, be more focused, and turn out better results in a shorter time.
7. New equipment
Most companies will use technology and software until something breaks. This isn't good news for you if you rely on technology to help you do your job. One of the easiest items to negotiate for is a new computer or a larger monitor. If you use the software in your job, maybe there's an upgraded version that will help you simplify your tasks. This could also include non-tech items like a new desk with more room to spread out or a standing desk to take pressure off your back.
There are tons of things to negotiate for other than salary, so don't get depressed if you don't get more than the standard 3% salary increase this year. Instead, show up with a list of other items that you can negotiate for that will help you do your job better.
Remember, the key to successful negotiation is not being afraid to ask, and then having your data ready to validate how this item will make your life (and your boss's life) a lot better this year.
Photo: Guillermo Viciano