Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

How to Negotiate Work Benefits

Negotiating work benefits is one of the last few bumps on the road between you and accepting the job offer. Although you are thrilled that this incredible job has fallen into your lap and the employer is ready to give you the job offer, often times you need to negotiate a few last minute details. These can be any number of work benefits, but the important thing is to make sure that through your negotiations and requests you are professional and realistic.

The reason for this is simple: you don’t have the job yet, just the job offer. You are not the new jean designer at Gene’s Jeans LLC yet and you won’t be until you sign the contract that you are currently negotiating.

Don’t blow it now! There may be a whole list of things that you need and that the company should do for you, but throw it all out in the opening negotiations. Look through the list for the most important work benefits you need for your specific situation and tackle those first- the rest can come later. After all, you’ll be working for them so it’s not like you won’t have a chance to talk about it.

Start with the essentials. If you live far from the job and have no form of public transportation to work, see if they’ll reimburse you for gas. It’s a valid question and it usually isn’t that big of a problem. Stick to the important points, and unless you have a serious back problem, wait to ask for the ergonomic desk chair until you get your first or second paycheck.

If you have any critical needs that must be addressed immediately then of course ask for them. Any special attention you need due to medical conditions or living situations need to be addressed openly and honestly with the employer so you can get the proper work benefits for it. You’re almost guaranteed to find any company to be an equal opportunity employer and therefore they cannot deny you if you have documented special needs.

But at the end of the day, negotiations are still a professional exchange. Sometimes it is possible to lose the job offer through negotiations. The same principles that lead to employees being fired over raise negotiations are valid in the initial back-and-forth. Prove to them that you are an employee who can carry themselves accordingly in a professional manner, and not only will they have a higher opinion of you but are much more likely to accept your requests for work benefits as well.

Again, I can’t stress it enough: be professional in your negotiations with your potential future employer. Be civil and do not get aggressive. After all, it is you asking them for something, and until you sign the contract you’re still under scrutiny. That job offer can always be taken away.

What kind of work benefits have you asked for after receiving a job offer? Share with us in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by davekentuk

Bane Srdjevic

Bane is a Purdue graduate and has been through a lot of the trials and tribulations every job seeker goes through. He is looking to spread his knowledge so that other job seekers don't make the same mistakes. Learning by doing is fine, but knowledge is king.