W. P. Carey Alumni Share 6 Tips for Offer Negotiation (Beyond Salary)

We asked W. P. Carey Alumni: What should be considered in negotiation beyond salary?

Here are 6 considerations for job negotiations they shared:

  •  You Are Building a Relationship
  •  Resources to Help You Design the Life You Desire
  •  Negotiate Based On the Stage of Your Career
  •  Start Date
  •  Stock Options
  •  Total Compensation

 You Are Building a Relationship

An important element to keep in mind during a salary negotiation is you are beginning your relationship with your employer throughout this phase. It’s important you think of this as a win-win negotiation. You’re giving your future employer a chance to have you come through their front doors, happy with the opportunity and the compensation package. Do your research (using a variety of resources and averaging your results – payscale.com, salary.com, glassdoor.com, bls.gov), know what the market will bear, and keep your ask in line with what is commensurate for your experience, highlighting what particular advantages your experience and knowledge bring to the table.  

Karen Chontofalsky, ‘09 W. P. Carey MBA, Nerdy Girl Career Coach

Negotiate Based On the Stage of Your Career

You go through the interview process and have been offered a position. I recommend looking closely at the offer and negotiating for what makes sense based on your career stage. If you are at the earlier stages of your career, you can negotiate for additional paid time off for life events, such as the birth of a child. If you are mid-career and have been progressing up the ladder, you can negotiate for the right job title, maintaining a positive career trajectory. If you are a seasoned professional, I recommend negotiating for additional retirement contribution matching. The key is that you’re negotiating for what you need at the time you need it. 

James King, ‘07 W. P. Carey MBA, Still Serving Veterans

 Resources to Help You Design the Life You Desire

Negotiating job offers goes beyond the financial benefits (i.e. salary, 401K, bonus, etc.). When considering a job opportunity, take the time to think about what you will contribute and what you need to obtain from the company. You should also assess your current personal values and needs and allow those to directly influence the factors upon which you will negotiate. Do you need more flexibility for family reasons? Would you like more professional development opportunities? Do you need a hybrid working arrangement? Rather than negotiating a higher salary, ask the company to provide you with resources to help you design the life you wish to have while still building a career you enjoy.

Tanika Fitzgerald, ‘06 W. P. Carey MBA, TF Coaching & Consulting

 Start Date

The start date is often a negotiable piece of a job offer; make it work for you. For example, if you are planning a life experience, like travel, between graduation and the start date of your job, position your request to delay your start date as a development opportunity, including how the experience will enhance your contributions to the organization. Perhaps the salary you’ve been offered for an incredible job is lower than you expected, they don’t want to negotiate pay, and you’re able to start working sooner. Propose an earlier start date which will increase your income the first year and give you more time to demonstrate the value you bring to the organization before your first performance review. 

Kjirsten Mickesh, ‘88 W. P. Carey B.S. Business, Cook Medical

 Stock Options

Equity in the form of stock options is an important component of compensation packages at many companies, especially in the technology sector. Many companies have a standard stock grant for new hires, and you should inquire about obtaining additional shares based on the value you will bring to the organization. You can also ask if they’ll remove the 1-year cliff before options begin vesting to ensure that you’re accumulating equity from your start date. Consider the long-term financial value that these options may bring and negotiate accordingly.

Brian Oblinger, ‘09 W. P. Carey B.S. Community Information Systems, Brian Oblinger Strategic Consulting

 Total Compensation

An important consideration, in addition to salary, should always include total compensation. What is the bonus potential, and how much does your individual performance vs. the team or organization performance, drive the result? Are there opportunities for long-term compensation like restricted stock options, and what is the earning and payout schedule? Considering the total compensation package will provide a more holistic view of the financial impact of the role, rather than considering salary exclusively.   

Elissa Kelly, ‘09 W. P. Carey MBA,  Elissa Kelly LLC

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By W. P. Carey Career Services Center
W. P. Carey Career Services Center