Understanding the Intangibles of a Salary
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated August 23, 2013)
For some strange reason, whenever people begin negotiating their salary, they are usually only focusing on the monetary compensation that they receive. There are several other items that you receive that could also be used for negotiation, and that you may just be more likely to receive. The first step in being able to do this is by understanding the intangibles of a salary. Listed below are several of the more common types of intangibles, and how they can affect you.
- Time. Quite often the most valuable intangible is your time itself. Time can be used as an intangible in a variety of ways. For example, how fixed are your working hours? Do you have to work at a specific time, and stop at a specific time? If you are currently working at a set schedule, you can always try negotiating for a more flexible one instead of a raise.
- Vacation. Many people overlook the intangible benefit that is vacation time when it comes to negotiating a salary increase. While it may be nice to have a little extra money in each paycheck, wouldn't it also be nice to have paid vacation time as well? If you don't already receive it, ask for it; if you do already receive it, why not ask for a slight increase? Often bosses will be more than happy to offer another day or two of vacation time instead of raising your overall salary, since they have to match what they pay you in their overhead.
- Sick leave. Sick leave is a mighty powerful intangible, and one that can be a huge help. For example, some jobs will offer two days of sick leave every month as part of their standard employment package. What if, instead of two days, you were offered 2.5? After all, you never really know how long you will stay sick once it happens to you or your kids. Having more time on your hands can be a huge help.
- Medical. Take a look the medical care options (if any) that you receive from your current or future job. Often times there is a little bit of help offered through medical insurance, or dental insurance, or even vision. One option that you could use when negotiating is an increase in your medical coverage or help that you currently receive. While this one may be a little trickier than getting a little more time in some way, it is still possible since this is more of a gamble for your employer. After all, you never know when someone will get sick, do you?
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