10 Things To Negotiate Other Than Salary When You Start A New Job

Starting a new job is an exciting time, but negotiating the terms of that job can be stressful. Many prospective employees worry they are asking too much when it comes to negotiating, especially if it's for a job they're really excited about. The reality is many different negotiations will take place before signing on the dotted line, according to Indeed, and asking for everything you deserve from your prospective employer will only increase your satisfaction with your new job.


Salary tends to be the priority when discussing a job with a new employer, but many other areas can be negotiated that you may not have thought of in advance. These conditions have the ability to impact whether or not this new job is a good fit, and can be especially useful if your prospective employer can't quite meet your salary demands but can offer you more flexibility and better options than a competitor.

Looking at the whole picture when it comes to a compensation package can help you decide on whether you want to accept a new job offer, but not everyone knows that there are some areas of your employment that are up for negotiation. Here are 10 things to negotiate other than salary when you start a new job.


Vacation time and days off

Paid time off is essential in every job, but so is how you approach the topic of vacation time and paid leave. According to Monster, while both of these are always up for negotiation, you'll want to ensure your requests are reasonable and work for both yourself and your new employer.


Indeed notes that when you can begin using your leave is also up for negotiation. This could be important if you have an existing vacation or event already planned before accepting a new job offer.

Vacation days are important to negotiate because everyone deserves to be fairly compensated for rest but paid leave days in cases of sickness, family emergencies, and mental health and well-being are also negotiable. You don't want to be forced to use all your vacation days should you or someone in your family fall ill, so securing a pre-set amount of paid days off is important. How your prospective employer reacts to your request for adequate vacation and paid leave can also tell you much about the company culture.



Do you love the job description but not the title of this new job? Believe it or not, many jobs have flexibility regarding changing the title, especially if that will secure their preferred candidate. Negotiating your title to one that is more senior not only correctly positions you in the company, but can also help set you up for future promotion, whether that's within the same company or should you eventually move on to other ventures.


If the job offer presented by your employer doesn't have much flexibility for negotiating terms like salary, negotiating a new title is a great way to add value to the role. "Negotiating for a more senior-level title or office is an obvious way to create non-monetary value for yourself," Michael Rainey, a business instructor at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School Plus, told Self. "Your ability to innovate and create bilateral benefits might impress the prospective employer, as well."

When asking for a title change, come prepared with reasons justifying the request as well as options you think would be more fitting for the position, instead of simply requesting something different.

401K matching

Regardless of your age, planning for your future is always a good idea. Most companies offer some sort of matching 401K or 403B plan, and sometimes those terms can often be negotiated as part of your employment contract. "The 401K is a great investment tool. Your company is incentivizing you to save towards retirement," Money Coach and Founder of Intentional Money, Ankita Terrell, explained to Forbes. "If your company offers a match, you should at the very least get the entirety of the match. 'Retirement you' will thank the present you." Negotiating a matching plan can sometimes be more valuable than a moderate salary increase since the investments you will be eligible to make should increase over time.


"It can actually be quite valuable," Kerry Chou, a senior practice leader specializing in compensation at WorldatWork told Fast Company of 401K matching plans. "Since many companies have abandoned pension plans, this is a way to contribute [to employees' retirement]." The benefit of these matching plans is your employer contributions don't go towards the maximum you can invest annually, as well. 

Remote work

Thanks to the pandemic, more and more employees are working from home, either full-time or part-time. If having the flexibility to work from home — at least partially — is important to you, this should be part of your negotiation process. Over the last few years, we've seen that working from home has numerous benefits for both employee and employer, but your requests should be in line with the company's expectations.


When asking for flexibility to work from home, career coach Susan Peppercorn told CNBC that negotiating for remote work is something that should be done once you receive an actual job offer. She stated that it's always helpful to let your prospective employer know how remote work will benefit them. Noting things like more work time due to less time commuting and increased productivity due to lack of distractions can help when it comes to negotiating remote work. "Back up your accomplishments with data, so an employer can clearly see that you have a track record of being productive while working remotely," she said.

Bonus structure

It seems to be more common these days for companies to offer financial incentives that make their offer more attractive during the hiring process, versus an increase in salary. Whether you will earn a commission, a yearly bonus, a signing bonus, or stock option grants, how and when you receive these bonuses as well as when stocks will vest are all topics you can discuss during the negotiation process. Money Coach Ankita Terrell told Forbes why it's important to note these terms, explaining, "if your bonus is in pure stock, pay attention to the vesting period. You may think you will stay four years for your stock to vest, but really, that is a lot of money you could be losing or taking a gamble on."


These are often more negotiable than salary since they rely on job retention and are performance-based, saving employers money upfront. HR managing director Claire Bissot told Self that bonuses can also be negotiated yearly, especially performance bonuses. If you've received a great performance review, you can bring your bonus and re-negotiate for the following year.

Commuter benefits

If remote work isn't a possibility and you're required to travel to the office, you can negotiate commuter benefits with your employer, according to Ellevest. Whether it's reimbursement for public transportation, the cost of parking, or a gas allowance, oftentimes jobs will provide some form of reimbursement or subsidies to help cover these costs. You can also ask for a lump sum amount added to your salary request to cover these out-of-pocket expenses.


This can be especially lucrative if you work in a large city where parking is at a premium or you require an expensive public transportation pass to get to and from work. Many companies will provide a gas stipend or assigned parking to help with the cost of commuting. "If you drive to work, consider asking for mileage, tolls, gas, or parking reimbursement," Alyssa Gelbard, founder and president of New York-based career consultancy Resume Strategists told Fast Company. "And if your role requires a lot of travel, you can also inquire about a company car."

Start date

There's nothing worse than landing the job of your dreams only to realize you have a personal conflict with when your new employer wants you to start. The good news is don't have to stress about starting a new job on a date that isn't convenient for you or that may conflict with other obligations. Many jobs will work with you to determine a mutually beneficial start date, as per Indeed, especially if you have a conflict with their initial start date. Start dates can be impacted by the need for relocation, previous commitments like a long-planned vacation, or simply providing adequate notice at a previous place of employment.


Most people also want to take a bit of a break between jobs, and, as Forbes notes, you already have the job offer in hand, which means they want you as an employee. Negotiating your start date to account for an extra week or two beyond the standard two-weeks-notice period is reasonable. And if you've already made plans that cannot be changed, don't ask for permission. Simply confidently and specifically state when you can realistically start.  

Technology allowance

Everyone has a smartphone these days, but if your new job is expecting you to use your personal phone and/or laptop for your job, you can ask for a subsidy or allowance while negotiating your employment contract. According to Indeed, if your job requires extensive use of your own phone, either during the course of business or simply as a means of contact, it's not unreasonable to expect them to pay for a portion of your phone plan.


You can also negotiate for a company phone on their own plan and a computer to be provided if you don't have one or don't want to use your own. If these are items that are required for the job you should be able to negotiate the terms around their usage. If the company offers you a phone but find it easier to use your personal device, you can still negotiate to have them pay a portion of your monthly plan, either as a lump sum or monthly stipend.

Tuition or professional development reimbursement

Continuing to grow your knowledge base through courses or education will not only benefit you personally but also the company you work for. Many companies will provide reimbursement for those courses if you negotiate it into your job offer. "Does your company encourage you to keep learning, and will they pay for it? This could have incremental returns for you as you learn, network, and become established in your profession," Money Coach Ankita Terrell explained to Forbes.


Per Kyle Elliott Consulting, you can also negotiate funds to help pay for past educational expenses, such as single courses, certificate programs, or even the pursuit of an entire degree. Similarly, tuition reimbursement can be requested as well. The more you learn and invest in yourself the more you benefit your employer, so it's not unreasonable to ask them to foot the bill — at least partially — for any funds put towards your professional development.


If the pandemic taught us anything, it's that the typical 9-to-5 workday doesn't exist for everyone anymore. Whether you have familial obligations that affect your working hours, you simply prefer to work in the mornings or evenings, or you commute and like to travel during off-peak hours, setting those expectations up front is important when starting a new job. 


Flexible scheduling isn't going to be an option for every job, but it's worth negotiating if you feel it's something that will allow you to be more productive with your time. According to Ellevest, your work schedule and hours are something you can and should negotiate before you accept a new position. Many companies are embracing a flexible schedule, especially those with employees across different time zones. Agreeing on a schedule that works for both of you is important in ensuring job satisfaction as well as increased performance and productivity.