Earlier this week we looked at how to make your case for a raise, but what if your employer truly can’t pay you more? Instead of walking away with nothing, why not get creative? After giving you a sob story about low company profits and tight times everywhere, your boss may be willing to agree to quite a lot of non-cash benefits to keep you satisfied. And we’re not talking free orange soda.
Perks May Be a Softer Sell
Don’t let your company’s lean philosophy fool you into accepting nothing more than a cost-of-living adjustment. Companies strapped for cash may be more receptive to benefits such as vacation time, flex time, and telecommuting. Just make sure you get things in writing.
- Time is money. For example, an extra week of vacation equates to about a 2% raise. Two weeks is worth 4%. Take the time off to work on outside projects, teaching, speaking engagements, or just relax.
- Look carefully at the job functions to see where hours can be cut or tasks can be delegated, leaving you free to do the higher level work you’re making the big bucks for. Do you work long hours? Why not negotiate a 4 day work week? When you’ve been working twelve hours a day , persuading your boss to let you take off Fridays is huge.
- Do you have the option of cashing out vacation or flex time? That can add up, especially if you’ve negotiated more of it. Maybe you never take any of your sick days – see if you can build that into your bonus structure.
- And speaking of options, do you hold any equity in the company? They may be willing to offer you stock, options, or some other performance based reward payable at a future date when certain profitability targets are met.
You need to look at your total situation and play it smart. You want to piece together enough to keep you from becoming resentful without coming across like a nickel and dimer. The key is to identify what’s most important to you and ask for it. If you’re still not happy – hit the pavement. Just remember, looking for a new job may or may not be as rewarding as improving your current situation.