April 8, 2013 at 4:54 PM ET
Whether you’re interviewing for a new job or looking for a better arrangement at your current gig, it’s important to know your options before you start negotiating. Remember that money is just one part of a great compensation package. Consider other big benefits—including salary and time of—when you’re negotiating.
Know the going rate
Before you negotiate, use resources like Salary.com and Payscale.com to figure out the average compensation for the job you’re vying for, taking into account location, industry and company size. If you’re interviewing for a new job, research the company to learn as much as you can about its hiring practices and typical salary packages. Visit sites like Glassdoor and Vault for more information and talk to anyone you know who's worked there. You should also check out the company’s website to find out about benefits. When you’re armed with real data and know what to expect, it will be that much easier to confidently negotiate salary.
Ask for flexibility
According to a recent iVillage survey, 48 percent of women agree that flexible work hours make for a happy work environment. And why wouldn’t they? A flexible work schedule allows you to balance your responsibilities at home with those in the office, while saving on your commute. Make telecommuting a couple days a week or coming in earlier so you can leave earlier a part of your package. Here’s why it’s a win-win for you and the employer: Studies have shown that employees who use (but don’t abuse) a flexible work schedule tend to be happier, more productive and less likely to burn out.
Take advantage of growth opportunities
Many companies offer career advancement opportunities to their employees, which can include tuition-reimbursement; management training; mentoring programs; and paying for conference fees and membership dues for professional or trade associations. These options are pretty affordable for employers and show your commitment to growth. Consider each of these opportunities as a means to build your skill set, grow your network and take your career to the next level (and pay grade).
Negotiate for the title you deserve
Job titles can be very subjective, depending on the size and industry of a company. A director title at one company may translate to a vice president position at another. It’s not uncommon to find yourself interviewing for a role with greater responsibility but the same or even a more junior job title. While you may not be able to negotiate a higher base salary, consider negotiating for a better title. This no-cost request allows you to tell a positive story about your work history on your resume and online job profiles.
Ask for more vacation time
Your time is valuable. Getting a few extra paid days off is a great way to improve your compensation package without doing any real damage to the company’s bottom line. Consider asking for more vacation days or having the company waive any time-off restrictions placed on new employees during the first few months of your tenure. These days, it’s becoming increasingly common to find organizations that have an unlimited vacation policy. Explore the idea of piloting such a program after you’ve proven your value and strong work ethic in the office.
For more information on how to negotiate, checkout A Women’s Guide to Successful Negotiation by Lee E. Miller and Jessica Miller, and Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute by Jack Chapman.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.