Professional Development

5 Benefits Better than a Salary Bump

Written by Sheryl Posnick

Negotiating your compensation for a new position? Salary might not be the most important factor in your wheelings and dealings, particularly if you’re leaving a position or company with a solid benefit package. Consider the following five benefits that can often be worth more than a few thousand dollars difference in pay, and learn which questions are most worth asking.

1. 401k Matching

The pension is all but a dinosaur in today’s workforce. The 401k matching program is a popular consolation from companies wishing to contribute to their employees’ retirement. Weigh the matching figures and do the math against your past and future salaries. The difference between a 50% and 100% matching program can make an enormous difference over the course of your career, even if your contribution is small.

2. Cadillac Insurance

Medical costs are through the roof, and insurance companies are paying for less and less. Will your new employer contribute to a Health Savings Account? Do they offer disability coverage? Or extra maternity leave? A lower premium? Anticipating your out-of-pocket health costs can come in handy and save hundreds of dollars in health care if you factor them into salary negotiations.

3. Wellness Programs

Does your new company offer to subsidize a gym membership? Financial incentives for flu shots or achieving fitness goals? A smoking cessation program? Or even a nutritional consultant? These are all added perks that you might have otherwise spent a good portion of your salary acquiring for yourself.

4. Continuing Education Perks

Your hard work and perseverance got you here. But what’s next? You want to keep growing and reaching for the next rung on the ladder. Why not get your employer to foot the bill? Does your new company offer undergraduate or graduate educational assistance? Additional training programs? Access to extra resources? These are the kinds of benefits that, when taken advantage of, can really vault you to the next level—and the next salary grade.

5. Commuter Aid

We spend a lot of time and money getting to work, between public transportation, gas, mileage, and maintenance. Factor the convenience level of your new commute into your view of your compensation. Does your new employer offer a pre-tax public-transit pass? Or is your commute just plain shorter? Less of a hassle? Sometimes you can’t put a price tag on quality of life.

To factor these perks into your negotiations, do your homework. Find out what benefits are standard within your industry, know what to ask for, and be bold enough to put it on the table. It could make the difference when the salary bump is not enough.

About the author

Sheryl Posnick

Sheryl Posnick is an editor and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder and president of Red Letter Content, an editorial company with a focus on educational, test preparation, and career readiness materials.