If you’re fielding a job offer, whether it’s internal or at a new company, you want to be sure to negotiate for the best possible salary and benefits. It can be difficult to know how to approach this conversation, so here are some tips to help you get what you deserve.
1. Ask about the salary.
Most people try to negotiate their salary first, and for good reason. Ask if there’s any flexibility. If the company can’t go higher on salary, you might be able to use it as leverage for other things, like vacation days, flexible hours, or remote work options.
2. Know your worth.
There are plenty of resources online that can help you understand the average salary for your position based on your location and level of experience. Research before you get the offer (ideally before you even start interviewing) and understand what salary range is appropriate for your experience and skillset. This can help you negotiate a fair salary.
3. Ask about benefits.
Benefits can be an important part of your overall compensation package. Be sure to ask about health insurance, dental insurance, and other perks that might be available. Some companies offer things like commuter benefits or life insurance (keep in mind that this group life insurance policy is separate from a policy you’d get for yourself, such as individual term life insurance), so it’s worth asking about the complete benefits package.
4. Ask about the career path.
Is the company invested in your growth? Is there a clear path forward for this position? What did the last person who had this job go on to do? Find out what opportunities for advancement are available at the company. This is an important factor to consider if you’re looking to move up in your career.
5. Ask about yearly raises and performance reviews.
Negotiating a good salary is important, but it’s also important to know that you’re eligible for regular increases. Ask if the company does regular raises, cost of living adjustments, or merit-based bonuses. This is a good opportunity to ask what the performance review process looks like—will you be reviewed quarterly, annually? Find out how performance reviews factor into raises and promotions.
6. Discuss PTO and other time off policies.
Be sure to ask about the company’s policy on vacation days, sick days, parental leave, and other forms of time off. Generous vacation and sick day allotments can be a sign that a company cares about work-life balance.
7. Find out about flexibility.
Does the company offer work-from-home options? What is the company policy on flexible hours? Will you be able to start your day at 10 AM and work until 6 PM to accommodate your kid’s daycare schedule? Negotiating flexibility in your work schedule can be especially important for working parents or caregivers.
8. Get everything in writing.
Once you’ve reached an agreement, get the full offer in writing—not just the salary but work-from-home, flexibility, planned raises, and anything else you’ve negotiated. This can help you later if policies change and can prevent any misunderstandings.