Total Compensation: 10 Great Things To Negotiate Besides Salary

by | Career Growth, Finding A Job, Interviewing

You landed a new job. Congrats! Now, it is time to negotiate your salary and get the compensation you deserve. Importantly, negotiation involves not only your base salary but also the additional pay and benefits (total compensation) offered by your new employer.

How do you get the largest compensation package possible? What should you keep in mind when negotiating your total package? Are there any mistakes to avoid when negotiating salary?

What Is Total Compensation?

To begin, what is total compensation? Total compensation extends beyond your base salary and also includes any additional pay and benefits your employer may offer you. Your total compensation package will typically include components such as salary and wages, health insurance benefits, and retirement contributions, among other perks.

Some components of a total compensation package are negotiable, while others are not. When you are offered a new job, you are in a strategic position to negotiate the best total compensation package possible.

10 Things To Negotiate In A Job Offer Other Than Salary

As a career expert and interview coach, I have supported countless job seekers in negotiating both their base salaries and their total compensation packages. One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make when negotiating their salaries is only looking at base compensation.

The following are 10 items to consider negotiating in a job offer other than your salary:

  • Stocks
  • Signing bonus
  • Retention bonus
  • Relocation stipend
  • Tuition stipend or tuition reimbursement
  • Professional development stipend
  • Commission structure and payments
  • Work schedule
  • Work location
  • Paid time off

Let’s dive further into each of these:

1. Stocks

One of the first additional forms of additional compensation to consider is equity. Restricted stock units (RSUs) are the most common type of equity compensation that employers offer. RSUs are particularly common if you are looking for a job in tech. These equity shares will often vest over several years and become fully vested after four years.

Thankfully, hiring managers are often able and willing to negotiate increased RSUs. Notably, you will want to calculate the current value of these shares as well as their potential future value.

2. Signing Bonus

A signing bonus is a payment sometimes offered for starting your new job. This bonus may be paid in one lump sum or over multiple payments. Similar to RSUs, I find signing bonuses to be one of the easiest additional forms of payment to negotiate, as they are a one-time exemption versus a recurring expense.

3. Retention Bonus

Employers often offer retention bonuses to entice talent to stay with the company for an extended period. I typically see these offered at the one-, two-, and/or three-year marks. I have seen job seekers successfully negotiate the size, frequency, and quantity of their retention bonuses. If you plan to stay with the company for the long term, consider asking for a retention bonus.

4. Relocation Stipend

Relocation stipends are one-time payments offered as compensation for expenses associated with relocating for your new job. I find relocation stipends to be more common with larger companies. They also tend to be offered for highly technical roles, senior manager and executive positions, and in more remote locations where top talent is difficult to find.

If your new position requires you to pick up and move cross-country, consider asking for a relocation stipend. And, if you do receive a relocation stipend, consider negotiating the amount of the stipend.

5. Tuition Stipend or Tuition Reimbursement

Employers sometimes compensate workers by offering educational stipends. Depending on the company’s policies, these funds can be used on a single course, toward a certificate program, or even to pursue an entire degree. Similarly, tuition reimbursement may be offered to support you in paying off your educational debt.

Companies regularly have a waiting period of 6, 12, or 24 months before you may begin accessing the stipend. You may be able to negotiate the waiting period as well as the amount of the stipend or reimbursement.

6. Professional Development Stipend

Similar to tuition stipends, consider negotiating a professional development stipend. These funds can be used for an executive coach or a similar service. Employers may be willing to offer these funds on a one-time or a recurring basis. If continuing education and development is important to you, look into the possibility of negotiating a professional development stipend.

7. Commission Structure and Payments

Not all positions involve commission. However, if your salary does involve commission, it may make sense to visit the structure. This may include adjusting your commission percentage or reducing the pre-established earning quota to receive your commission. You may also be able to adjust how frequently you are paid your commissions.

8. Work Schedule

Your work schedule can also be negotiated. This may look like a flexible work schedule, reduced work hours, or a combination of both. I have seen job seekers successfully negotiate flexible schedules, 35-hour workweeks, and the increasingly popular 4-day workweeks, all without decreasing their base salary.

9. Work Location

Speaking of negotiating your work schedule, you may also be contemplating your work location. While some employees prefer working in person, I see more workers leaning toward hybrid and fully remote work. If your prospective employer does not already offer partially or fully remote work, you may want to negotiate it.

10. Paid Time Off

Finally, you may wish to request additional paid time off (PTO). I find larger, more established companies to be less open to increasing vacation time, as they often maintain strict PTO accrual policies across the organization. Conversely, smaller companies tend to be more flexible in negotiating PTO and vacation time.

What To Negotiate Besides Salary

Important Note: These are only a handful of the many things you can negotiate in a job offer beyond your base salary. Take time to identify what is important to you in your next job, then advocate accordingly. Also, use the following additional helpful articles to support you in negotiating your salary. You’ve got this!

6 Tips To Negotiate Your Salary With Confidence—And Get What You’re Worth (Forbes Interview)

Salary Negotiation: How To Answer ‘What Are Your Salary Expectations?’ (Forbes Article)

New Job Offer? Three Salary Negotiation Tips To Get More Money (Forbes Article)

How To Ask For A Raise When You Are Underpaid ( Article)

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

Dr. Kyle Elliott is the founder and career coach behind His expertise is in Silicon Valley and high-tech. As a result of working with Dr. Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other tech giant you can imagine.

A trusted career expert, Dr. Elliott’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He has been recognized as a Best Career & Interview Coach, Best Resume Writer for Silicon Valley/Tech Managers & Executives, and LinkedIn Top Voice (the platform’s highest honor).



Currently Booking New Coaching Clients For Late July 2024 & Forward — Schedule A Consultation Now Job Search Launch Guide

Unlock Your FREE Job Search Launch Guide

Looking for a new role? Access my FREE Job Search Launch Guide and learn where to focus your time, energy, and effort so you can find a job you love.

Because the job search can quickly become overwhelming, I've broken this down into an easy-to-follow, 5-step process to help you get started. You've got this!

Thank you for registering! Check your email inbox for your guide from