Ten Ways to Sweeten the Job Or Job Offer

One aspect of meaningful work is being compensated adequately for the work that you do. Whether you are currently in a practice having survived a lay off or negotiating for a new job, you are probably finding that raises are small or nonexistent and offers are lower than what you were used to. Even if you did not get all the money that you wanted, there are other perks that can be negotiated. 
Don’t give up what is critical to you but find other ways to make the job more attractive. Now may be the time you actually negotiate work/life balance into your job! A firm needs people who are happy, energetic and enthusiastic to develop the business and do the work. Here are 10 ideas to help you to negotiate a really great offer. 
1. Use your strengths. If the job description includes pieces that do not play to your strengths and you can see a way to show that the piece that you do want is important enough to be your primary responsibility, negotiate dropping the less attractive pieces. (You will need to show them that focusing on this piece is important to the company.)
2. New to the firm? Ask for an introduction from the firm leader or someone high enough up in the organization that can transmit power to you. This will make managing a team easier and will help you get the kinds of work you want.
3. Improve your performance through better resources. Ask for more people, more budget for your department/group, or other resources for you and your department/group to help you perform better, faster and more thoroughly.
4. Get customized hours for your situation. Ask for different hours than are normal for the organization. For example: Come in earlier and leave earlier. (This can help with work/life balance)
5. Increase the vacation time or get vacation when you need it. Ask for specific vacation dates (vacation during school vacations) or extra vacation time (4 weeks instead of 3). (This can help with work/life balance)
6. Set an objective that is important to the firm. Determine a time frame in which you could accomplish a key goal and ask for a bonus upon completion.
7. Telecommute from home full time or part time. Ask for the ability to telecommute a certain number of times during the week or month. (This can help with work/life balance)
8. Improve your skills. Think about becoming a “Thought Leader” or “Subject Matter Expert”. Look for possible training in skills where you want to develop expertise or ask for a tuition reimbursement plan if you want to pursue an advanced degree. Get the company to cover memberships to professional associations and subscriptions to professional and business magazines and newspapers.
9. Ask for a specific job title. If your firm puts value on a particular title, ask for that title.
10. If this is a new job for you, ask for a signing bonus. Add a signing bonus to a bonus on completion of the key goal may get you close to the salary you were asking for. Of course next year you’ll drop back to the salary but by then you can be looking for other ways to increase your salary.

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