Ask anyone what they want in a new job, and money is sure to be at the top of the list. Most negotiating advice is geared toward that, offering tips on dealing with the question of salary history, figuring out how much you’re worth, and asking for more than an initial low-ball offer. But what do you do when there’s no more wiggle room, but you still want the job?
Think of things that are worth almost as much to you as money — generally, time and things that save time or money in the long run. The list of possible perks is endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started at your next negotiation:
Commuting takes time out of your day and adds frustration; negotiate for a day or two of work-at-home time per week, and you could save yourself hours and feel less stressed-out while you’re working. (Plus, let’s face it: there’s something about working in your PJs that feels like getting away with something, even if you’re likely to put in more work at home than you would at the office.)
If your company isn’t comfortable with WAH, working an off-schedule — say, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. — might help mitigate childcare issues and expenses and help you avoid the traffic at rush hour.
2. More vacation time.
Americans are notoriously bad about using their vacation time. Don’t fall into that trap. Negotiate for more time, and you’ll be better rested and more productive — at no real cost to your company. If you need an extra bargaining chip, keep this in mind: Marissa Mayer, she of the extra-short maternity leave and the under-desk snooze sessions, takes a vacation every four months.
3. Education and training.
Many companies now offer classes on everything from Microsoft Office to programming languages. If you can learn to code on the company’s dime, why not?
4. Tuition reimbursement.
Other organizations will foot the bill for a whole degree, often provided it’s related to your area of focus at work. Beats paying for that MBA yourself.
5. Free gym memberships.
If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. Some organizations offer free gym memberships, but even if yours doesn’t, it’s worth asking HR if your health insurer gives discounts for gym goers.
6. Access to cultural events.
Museums, theater, sports events — we’ve even heard of folks who’ve received access to discount paintball. (Culture is subjective.)
7. Higher 401(k) match and/or greater contributions to medical and dental insurance.
Don’t just focus on today’s take-home pay. More money in your 401(k) or added to the company contribution to your insurance will make a big difference, down the line.
8. Paid cellphone and/or internet access.
Access is expensive. If your company wants you available after hours — and they probably do — they might be willing to foot some of your phone and internet bills.
9. Stock options.
There’s no telling how much stock might be worth; it could go either way. Still, as gambles go, this one is a pretty safe bet. It’s not real money in any sense until years from now, but you could wind up with a nice bonus.
10. Travel upgrades.
Some larger employers will let you fly first or business class when you travel for work, or keep your frequent flyer miles for your own use later on.
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What’s the best non-cash perk you’ve ever negotiated for? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.