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When They Won’t Budge on Salary – What Next?

Better Compensation on the Job

Your dream employer has just made you an offer for a position. You start jumping for joy, but while you’re mid-air the needle scratches off the record. You’ve done your salary research and have an accurate idea of what you should be earning. However, the dollar figure on the table is below (perhaps very much below) your expectations and they just aren’t budging. Before you walk away, consider some other negotiating points that might help you turn this into an enviable opportunity.

Telework to Save Money on the Commute
If your commute would be costly or substantial in time, would it balance out to work from home two days a week? If it costs you $8 a day to commute, this would save you roughly $800 annually, not to mention the time you’re sitting in traffic, wear-and-tear on your vehicle, or the hassle of waiting for a bus or train.

Extra Personal Days
Perhaps you have substantial home renovations coming up or you’re going to start looking at colleges with your teenager. Would the flexibility of a few extra personal days alleviate stress and running around? These extra days won’t cost your employer hard cash and can help make you more productive while in the office by freeing up your time to focus fully on the task at hand.  

A Performance-Based Raise in the Shorter Term
Prove that you’re worth every dollar (and you deserve a lot more of them). Set key metrics with your boss with the understanding that if you achieve them in the first three or six months, you will be eligible for a raise. Ensure the metrics are measurable so there will be no question about whether or not you have met them.

A Stronger Job Title
This could be your chance to get some coveted words into your job title. But be sure they reflect the truth! Don’t ask for “senior vice president” if that doesn’t come close to your level of responsibility.  

Taking Your Dog to Work
Google, Clif Bar, and Amazon allow employees to bring their canine friends to the office. Would this employer let you have your hound around? This can save you significant money on dog walkers or daycare. If you pay $12 a day five days a week for dog care, over a year you would save roughly $3,000.

If They Remain Inflexible
If they still won’t sweeten the offer, it’s time to decide if the opportunity is worth it. If the work will put you ahead in your career by leaps and bounds, gives you the opportunity to learn directly from well-respected professionals, or affords access to a career change you’ve longed for, it just might be worth it.

But otherwise, it could be time to find an employer whose concept of remuneration more closely aligns with yours.

Remember, your strongest time to negotiate is before you step into the role. Don’t just hope someone will magically up your salary by several thousand dollars in early days. You could wind up quite disappointed. 

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