OK, so you want the new job but the pay isn’t exactly where you want it. So what do you do? Accept it? Feel resentful? Turn the job down? Neither one. Suggest to the hiring manager there may be other ways to solve the issue. Here are some win-win strategies:
Suggest a 6-month performance review instead of a yearly review. In that way you can receive a merit increase that could bring you up to the pay number for which you were looking in the first place.
A one-time bonus can make up the difference in pay, whether it’s a signing bonus, extra funds built into relocation, or a short-term bonus for a special project However, a bonus does not add to your base compensation as it’s a one-time event.
Ask the boss if additional responsibilities can be built into the job that would merit additional funds to be added to the pay level. In this way, the boss can move an added burden from his plate onto yours. You, on the other hand, increase your value to both the organization and the boss.
Suggest a more impressive title that doesn’t upset the organizational chart, but gives you a little bit more status, or a title that puts you further up your career ladder later. A change from Distribution Manager to Manager, Distribution may have greater meaning within another industry or job category but makes no difference to your boss. What’s on your resume does make a difference to you, over time.
If you know the organization’s structure and hierarchy of decision-making, ask if you can be included in meetings involving higher management. Even if you don’t participate beyond note-taking or communication sharing, it puts you in a position to know what’s going on, in addition to being seen by the decision makers.
If you’re offered a key position with a new start-up business or one that is having some financial trouble, ask for an employment contract. Beyond the normal content, add such things as automatic cost of living escalators, bonuses, and most importantly, include a severance formula. Just in case the business doesn’t survive, is bought out, is merged at a later date, you should have the option of staying on or leaving.
Most policy issues are negotiable except those dictated by law. So items like vacation, some benefits, association memberships, Rotary Club memberships, more flexible hours, relocation expenses and similar costs can be yours or the company’s, depending upon what you build into the hiring deal.
And lastly, if you know of a special project being formed or a project involving other groups across the organization, ask if you can be part of it. This puts you in a highly visible position early within the organization.
Oh, and by the way, get these negotiated changes in writing as part of the offer. Some supervisor’s recollections are notoriously bad.
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