Many job applicants think they can sit back and relax once they’ve received an offer. They’ve put in hours of prep and survived three rounds of interviews; they’ve negotiated their desired salary and have a definite start date. What else is there to think about?
Planning your working life beyond salary will benefit you now, as you’re starting out, as well as in the future, when your circumstances might change. Many companies are open to offering job perks, but it’s going to involve some negotiation skills. Whether you’ve taken a course from a reputable training company, such as the Negotiation Experts, or you’ve practiced negotiation strategy informally with friends and family, using these skills during the contract negotiation process will give you a better chance.
So, what are these perks? Here are our top six job perks worth going for:
Although most companies will take phones or laptops back if you leave the job, these tech perks make your job easier.
Work calls may dominate your time, or co-workers might need to reach you outside of the office. In these cases, it’s reasonable to request a phone. Just like you wouldn’t use a personal email account for work, a work phone helps separate work stuff from personal.
Laptops are standard fixtures at most companies, especially if traveling is part of the job. Being able to work on the go is only going to benefit your employer. If you have a train commute, why not ask for a mobile hotspot on your phone? You can leave earlier and work on the way home. Everyone wins.
A strict 9 to 5, Monday to Friday schedule isn’t going to suit everyone. Perhaps your most creative, clearheaded time is early morning, or you’d rather miss the morning rush hour. Many companies allow employees to arrange their schedules around core hours, so talk to your boss about flex-time policies.
Another option is working a condensed week. You may be contracted for 40 hours, but who says you still can’t have Fridays off to spend with family? Ask about working four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days.
Let’s not forget about telecommuting. If working from home is a viable option, it’s worth asking what your company’s stance is, particularly if you have a long commute or your location makes traveling tricky in winter. And when everyday life needs some attention, getting the car repaired or attending that doctor’s appointment won’t be a strain.
A chance at personal development is worth every penny you’ve spent honing those negotiation strategies. Ask your employer about courses, conferences, memberships or subscriptions.
If you’ll be managing others for the first time, for example, a management course will help get your feet wet. Look for courses that teach your job’s necessary skills. If you have a professional certification, you’ll need to stay up to date on the latest practices and information. Will your company support you financially or give you time off?
Asking for support in personal development says to your employer, “I care about this company, and I want to benefit it by being the best at my job.” It’s hard to say no to that.
Help with Student Loans
Many students can’t get an education without a loan, and employers realize this. If your employer is in a position to help with the debt or can subtract it from your salary before tax, negotiating this as part of your contract will make it easier for you now and ease the burden in the future. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Help with Child Care Costs
Child care costs can be a major concern, and prices are only going to go up. All the more reason to call on your negotiation training.
If your salary negotiation ends in a concession on your part, help with child care costs could make up for it. It’s worth bringing up, as it can give insight into the company culture and its posture toward working families.
Time off for volunteering, or matching charitable contributions
A full-time job leaves little time for much else, and your passion might not mesh with the weekday 9 to 5. Knowing your employer’s stance on social responsibility means you can plan your work and vacation time accordingly. Their generosity enables yours. If they’ve never thought about this as an option, perhaps you asking will change company culture.
A good job goes beyond salary. Contract negotiation can make or break your work experience, so be prepared. Take a negotiation workshop to learn the best tactics. Think about what’s most important for your situation, and have the courage to test the waters. The only thing you’ll regret is not asking, which negotiation trainers lament is most job applicants’ downfall.