You negotiate when you’re buying a new car, you negotiate when you buy or rent a place to live, so why don’t you negotiate at your job? When buying big ticket items you want to get the best deal you can by negotiating on items that matter to you. You probably negotiated on your salary when you started at your job, but you don’t have to stop there. Whether you’re taking a new job or are happy with your employer you can negotiate over ways to make your work life balance better. Here are a few things you might not have thought of that you can ask your employer to consider.
The most obvious way to improve your job is to ask for a promotion. You probably already have an annual review but you don’t have to wait for a review to ask for feedback from your supervisors. By asking for frequent feedback you can build a case for a promotion based on the small achievements you make over time. If you feel that you add value to your employer and you can show them the ways in which you are important to their business you can make a great case that you deserve a promotion with higher pay.
Training and Professional Organizations
There are numerous professional organizations available for many common types of employment. Joining a trade or professional organization not only provides great networking opportunities, but helps your employer demonstrate to the community that they take their employee’s professional development seriously. You can also use your involvement in a professional organization to develop your resume and make yourself more attractive to a new employer or build the case that you deserve a raise or promotion from your current employer.
If your employer isn’t willing to pay for your to join a professional organization, they may agree to pay for job specific training for your current role. A quick internet search will likely turn up a few options for training courses that will build your skills and make your more valuable to your employer. By making the case that a training course will help you add even more value to your position your employer will likely see the benefit in paying for you to take a course. A side benefit here is that you may be able to obtain a professional certification through training that will help you make the next big step in your career.
Unfortunately in America there is no law that requires an employer to give you any vacation. If you find that you don’t have any vacation days to begin with, it can’t hurt to ask for a few. It’s not difficult to make a good case that the a few days of paid vacation will let you take time to recharge and come back to your job feeling ready to tackle the tough problems you deal with.
If you do have time off already, consider asking for an extra day or two of “flex time”. Without calling it a vacation day they may be more willing to give you an extra day off to take care of things in your personal life. Whether it’s a few hours of time to go to an appointment or just the ability to take a half day in the summer to go to the beach, extra time off is a valuable asset that you can negotiate for.
Maternity or Paternity Leave
Again, American companies are not required to give paid maternity or paternity leave to their workers. If your employer is big enough they do have to allow you unpaid time off for the birth of your child but realistically most of us can’t afford to take more than a few unpaid days off without feeling the financial pain. The first way to negotiate for maternity leave is simply to ask for it. If you are a valuable employee and you can demonstrate the value you deliver to the company they may be willing to give you some time off for the birth of your child.
A second strategy is to ask for a modified schedule after the birth of your child. See if they will let you work from home or only come into the office for a few days a week while you arrange for more permanent child care for your newborn. Many employers are willing to let their employees modify their work schedule slightly to accommodate for the birth of a child so it’s definitely possible. However, if you are granted a modified schedule make sure to check with HR that your reduced hours will not change your qualification for your healthcare plan.