New job? What to negotiate (other than salary)

When on the hunt for a job, it’s easy to see getting an offer as the end of the search. After arduous application processes and rounds of interviews, finally receiving an offer can feel like such a relief. But it’s important to remember that the hustle doesn’t end there.

While getting a job offer is absolutely worth celebrating, it’s also worth seeing it more as entering the final stage of the application process, rather than crossing the finish line. Not only is it important that you’re getting the best offer you can, but it can also help show your employers that you’re savvy and knowledgeable about the hiring process.

Most know that negotiating your salary is something expected before accepting a job offer. But there are many other moving parts that are well worth considering. In order to get the best offer you can, it’s important to be cognisant of all the different aspects of a job. That way, you can negotiate your way into the most desirable position from the off. Here’s what you need to know.

Start early

You have the most leverage during negotiation before you actually start your job. This means that if something sounds not quite right to you, it’s far better to voice it before you accept an offer than try to work on it retroactively in the future.

Even though a job offer can be exciting, try not to get swept up in the moment. Instead, make sure you’re being as thorough as you can, and not letting anything you think is unreasonable slip through the cracks.

Get flexible

Flexi hours are a relatively new aspect to most job descriptions, but they can make a huge difference to the desirability of your position – particularly if you have other commitments. Being able to negotiate start and finish times, compressing your week, or reducing your workload sporadically are all worth looking into. However, if this is something that matters to you, you’ll need to be specific during negotiations.

Instead of broadly asking for flexible working hours, consider where you’d like that flexibility to exist. Ask about working from home one day a week, or skipping lunch and leaving early. Having specifics in mind will make it easier for you to negotiate from a more knowledgeable position.

Moving up

It’s also important to consider the bigger picture of your position before accepting an offer. While a job may sound perfect to you now, it’s worth looking further into the future to help you see how valuable the offer truly is.

You want a job that has a larger potential for growth, with promotions and title changes on the horizon. Understanding the typical career trajectory within a company can help you better understand if a position is right for you – plus it shows your potential employers that you’re ambitious and forward thinking.

Leave it

It can seem like a faraway concept, but negotiating things such as maternity, paternity or sick leave now can be a really good idea. It’s better to get these things organized and locked down now rather than having to bring them up in the future.

Leave negotiations should not just be centred on length of time off either – you can consider things like soft re-entry, or potential part-time work during certain periods.

Earning holiday

Looking at holiday policy is an important thing to remember when considering a job offer. Something that can really help with negotiations in this area is knowing the general precedents. This includes both the law, and the policy of the company you’re negotiating with. Coming to the table with all the facts can only help your case.

Job scope

It’s well worth considering the type of work you’ll be doing when in job offer negotiations. While the job description may initially sound like a dream, try to think more long term. Is it likely you’ll end up doing a lot of same-y work and feeling bored?

Talk to your employers about potential for involvement in different types of projects. It’ll help you feel more sure your job will remain challenging and interesting, plus show the company that you actually care.

Added bonus

Being overly concerned with money may be seen as unattractive, but it’s an important aspect of deciding whether a job is valuable to you or not. It’s easy to get too tied up in salary negotiations, though, and miss out on other potential sources of income. Bonuses, for example, can be a valuable aspect of a job offer.

You may be eligible for a signing bonus immediately upon starting. You should also try to do some research on the culture of bonuses within the company as a whole. If a salary doesn’t look too appealing to you, make sure you’re taking into account, and negotiating on, the other monetary aspects of a position to help you understand whether it’s worthwhile for you.

Potential relocation

Some jobs may require a change of location for you – and if that’s the case, you should be asking how they’ll help you out. Many companies have specific policies related to relocation, which can cover things like moving expenses and helping with accommodation in a new city. If transferring is something which interests you, getting these specifics in order should be a priority when negotiating any job offer.

Professional development

While an employee should provide value to a company, the relationship should be reciprocal. A job isn’t merely transactional – it should be a means of developing professional skills, learning more and growing your career prospects as much as possible.

Many companies offer specific training or educational programs to boost their employees. A job which is dedicated to developing you and your career could end up being more valuable to you than one which actually pays more money.

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