You’ve been offered a new position, but the salary is not what you hoped to receive. However, is a higher salary always the best measuring stick when it’s decision time? Here are eight benefits you could negotiate to include or improve in lieu of a higher base pay.
- Health insurance: Depending on your and your family’s health, you may prefer working with a company that offers a better health package, even if your salary is lower. Added benefits include dental, vision, life, disability, or legal insurance.
- Matching 401(k) contributions: If your company offers an option of matching your 401(k) investment, your financial benefit is huge. In 2022, employees may contribute up to $22,500 of their pay. Some companies contribute as well, but most put a limit on how much they’ll pitch in. Fifty percent of the employee’s contribution is average, up to 6% of salary from the employee with an additional 3% from the company.
- Flexible hours: Many parents struggle to balance the traditional 9:00 – 5:00 workday with their children’s school schedule. Companies can offer flexible hours that allow you to work around your kids’ schedule, and it doesn’t cost them extra money.
- Paid vacation: The average American company offers ten to fourteen paid vacation days after one year of work. An extra week of paid vacation or access to it after only six months could make up for less salary.
- Work-from-home options: Covid taught us we could do many jobs from home. Ask if you can utilize a hybrid schedule where you come to the office on certain days and work from home on others. With today’s gas prices, this benefit could put quite a chunk of money back into your pocket.
- Tuition assistance: Maybe you’d like to get a degree. Ask if your employer will assist with your tuition, particularly if the degree you seek will benefit your skill at the job they offer. The company can claim a tax break of up to $5250 per employee per year, so it isn’t as large a cost to them as it might sound.
- Paternity/maternity leave: Federal law requires companies to provide up to twelve weeks of paternity/maternity leave, but they don’t have to pay for your time off. If starting a family is in your near future, this benefit might tip the scales in deciding to accept a lower salary.
- Free on-site daycare services: For many parents, daycare can cost more than half their house payment or rent. On average, US parents pay $308 per week for daycare. If your company offers that benefit for free, it is a financially wise decision to take a lower salary if your children aren’t yet school age.
Bottom line, compare more than the salary they’re dangling in front of your face. The right benefits may make up for the deficiency in pay. Know what to ask for.