While salary is important to everyone in the workforce, sometimes benefits mean just as much. An organization that provides robust healthcare, flexibility, and a good number of vacation days can sometimes mean more than a higher paycheck from somewhere else that doesn’t have the same great benefits.
Associations often rank higher than other sectors when it comes to flexibility and benefits. Of course, it truly depends on where you work – there are some associations that would never consider letting anyone work from home – ever! However, it’s nice to know that there are so many associations that do provide this option, in case it’s important that you find a job that allows telecommuting.
And, just a few weeks ago, I wrote about tuition reimbursement being the most underutilized benefit. If going back to school is important to you, be sure to ask about this during the negotiation stage.
When it comes to salary negotiation, I advise my clients to do the research, and come up with three numbers – their dream salary, the lowest they’d accept, and one that’s most closely aligned with their skills and experience. While you may have heard of people doing this before, job seekers don’t typically inventory their dream benefits in the same way. And, if you don’t – how can you be prepared to negotiate on anything other than salary?
I challenge you to come up with a list of your dream benefits – is it two weeks’ vacation the first year, dental AND vision coverage, and tuition reimbursement? Then, come up with your “must-have” benefits – for example, this means health insurance for many people. Once you’ve determined what you want and need as far as benefits are concerned, you’ll be better prepared to negotiate a favorable outcome.
While job seekers need to be realistic in what they’ll get from an employer, if something is very important to you, chances are you will find an organization that offers it.