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OT: compensation beyond salary

by TomDLux (Vicar)
on Apr 22, 2004 at 03:23 UTC ( #347206=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

TomDLux has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi! Fellow TPM members ... I've made it up to interview number 5! They HAVE to make an offer soon, don't they?

So everyone wants more money, what else is new. On the other hand, having been unemployed the last 28 months, other than a four month contract, I'm not going to be too demanding.

But I AM curious what non-salary demands people have been able to obtain frrom employers. If I'm going to accept a tolerable salary..... and it IS tolerable, though not superb ... how far should I go in demanding training, and other additional benefits?



Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: OT: compensation beyond salary
by davido (Cardinal) on Apr 22, 2004 at 03:41 UTC
    Negotiation isn't the process of making demands. Demands only carry weight if backed up with ultimatums. And an ultimatum only carries weight if you're indespensible.

    Negotiation is the process of finding talking points and common grounds where the're room for give and take.

    • To you, it might be advantageous if you can start with two weeks of vacation available to use without waiting a year. But that's a visible thing, that other employees will see and grumble about, so employers are less likely to grant such a request unless it's already commonplace. However, an employeer might be able to feel more comfortable with a "time off for relocation" or "time off for education" arrangement.

    • An employeer may not be able to offer more pay based on your experience and their pay structure. But a performance bonus of some sort, or even a pre-arranged schedule for salary review may help you to get more money down the road, earlier than if you don't pre-arrange a salary review schedule. For example, an employer may be willing to agree to review your salary after 3 months instead of after six, with the hope of being able to bring your salary up based on your demonstrated performance.

    • An employer may not be able to offer a signing bonus, but may be able to draw some form of relocation reimbursement from a different pool that gets in under the wire.

    My point is that the art of negotiation involves trying to figure out where the person on the other side of the table may have wiggle room. At the same time, that person will be trying to discover where you have wiggle room. Maybe you can settle for a little less pay than you're hoping for, but maybe the employer has a little room to work with you in some other area.

    The objective isn't only to get the largest piece of pie by percentage, it's to find additional ingredients to add to the pie to make the total pie bigger so the servings are more substantial. Keep an open mind an think outside the box.


Re: OT: compensation beyond salary
by logan (Curate) on Apr 22, 2004 at 05:57 UTC
    • Health insurance. What's your co-pay? Do they cover dental? Ocular? What about chiropractic? Psychiatic? Substance abuse? Are family members covered? What about your non-married significant other?
    • Can you tele-commute? If so, will they supply you with a laptop? Will they pay for broadband?
    • What's the review process at your job? Are you going to have a performance review every 6 months? Every year? How does that relate to raises/bonuses?
    • Are stock options available to you? What about an employee stock purchase plan? What about the 401K? Does the employer match employee contributions?
    • A healthy employee is a happy employee, and one who doesn't make a lot of insurance claims. Does the company have an on-site gym? Will they pay for a gym membership? What about a discount?
    • Training. A friend of mine had a deal worked out with a former employer. When he took classes, reimbursement was contingent on his grade. If he got an A, they paid 100% of tuition and fees. For a B, they paid 90%. For a C or lower, zip. It really encouraged him to buckle down, and he got the A.
    Finally, let me relay some advice. If you hate the job, there's no amount of money that will make it worthwhile. When I quit Microsoft, I took a 50% cut in compensation in exchange for peace of mind. It was worth every penny. My stomach stopped hurting, I stopped throwing up every morning, and I was able to enjoy life. If you're just doing it for the money, you're garanteed to be miserable.

    "What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."

      Health insurance = good.

      I never realized the value of it til last fall when I had my two front teeth shattered playing ice hockey. Dental insurance covered the whole thing (apart from an unneceessary trip to the emergency room).

        This is Canada, we've evolved beyond such things ... it's called government healthcare.


Re: OT: compensation beyond salary
by adamk (Chaplain) on Apr 22, 2004 at 06:08 UTC
    (In Australia...)

    As an employee, everything you do in company time is theirs, anything more or less is contractual.

    As a contractor, everything you do is yours, with some task or work product assigned by contract to them.

    Between contract jobs and employee jobs, I've created a variety of development tools of my own, to assist with my job ( faster, more efficient, etc ). Most good professionals have these code libraries or tools.

    What I've always done when interviewing for an employee job is to mention this vast library of stuff that makes me a far better asset to them than someone coming in with no code ( it also helps to display value... shitty coders don't code at home ). In doing this, you can let them know that in order to bring in this code, you need to maintain ownship to it, any improvements to it, and any new tools/code that isn't related to work projects.

    My general angle has been "I own any improvements or new tools, you own the work product, and I'll give you an unlimited, non-cancellable, commercial license to all my private code".

    This covers their risk, in that they get full and continuing access to anything of yours they need, even after you leave. Any company time spent on improvements to your stuff stays yours, and everyone is happy.

    When the time comes where they give you the "everything you think is ours" forms, which are likely just boilerplate and bundled, just mention the arrangement you have and get the language changed.

    Get the "I own my stuff" clause in your original employment contract, in which case if some _other_ part of the company yells at you for the "All your base" form, you can truthfully say you are unable to sign it because it conflicts.

    This has worked for me for the last 4 years...
Re: OT: compensation beyond salary
by diotalevi (Canon) on Apr 22, 2004 at 03:58 UTC
    You'll want to be sure that the code you write out of business hours doesn't belong to them.
        I didn't recall the name of the thread.
Re: OT: compensation beyond salary
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Apr 22, 2004 at 12:15 UTC
    I just started a new job about 5 months ago. I started as a contractor for the first 6 weeks, then converted. This initial contracting period allowed me to demonstrate that they needed me. I impressed my team lead and he went to the director and fought for me. The director decided to bring me in at a lower paygrade, but that allowed me to demand both a small signing bonus and an accelerated review schedule. (I'm actually in the process of my three month review and I have a 6-month and one at a year.)

    Although this wasn't in the initial agreement, my team lead has been very flexible when it comes to telecommute time and flextime. He knows I work some nights and, more importantly, he knows I produce. Given that, he shows me a little love.

    Another thing to look at is what you'll be working on and what you can receive training for. Maybe they'll only pay you 80% of what you want, but they'll spend 40% of that on training you. You can take that training and use it as leverage a year down the line. "Give me more money or I walk." If you're a known producer, that's very potent stuff.

    We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

    Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

Re: OT: compensation beyond salary
by BuddhaNature (Beadle) on Apr 22, 2004 at 21:25 UTC
    Although I have only been in the "workforce" since this past September I can tell you the things that I have found great as extra benefits:

    Flexability - I am getting paid to do my job, not be in the office 5 days a week 8 hours a day (even though I usually am). This means if my Sig-O has a doctors appointment I can go with her, even if it takes half or all of the day.

    Code - Although I don't have it in my contract my employers seem to be of the mind that if I write a perl script that I use often that helps me that I can post it (like here) or GPL it if I want to, or at least so far.

    Education - One thing that I really enjoy re: my workplace is that they really are open to your learning new things. One of the things on my general todo list when I first got here was "Learn Perl." There wasn't a date I had to "know it" by, but it was just a general thing they wanted me to pick up.

    Benefits - Work to get a PPO, and if it isn't offered see if you can have them somehow help you get individual insurance with a PPO of your choice. Also, try and get the best mental health benefits you can - it seems people in our line of work tend to not make use of these benefits as much as they should.

    Good luck in your new job and congradulations.


Re: OT: compensation beyond salary
by nmcfarl (Pilgrim) on Apr 22, 2004 at 20:18 UTC

    I'm pretty successful at getting myself a mac. Usually companies need to purchase a box for you to work on, so it might as well be the one you want to work on.

    Of course this depends a lot on the company you're dealling with. Some are serious about having only 1 plaform to support, others actually have a computer for you already. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

Re: OT: compensation beyond salary
by flyingmoose (Priest) on Apr 23, 2004 at 13:37 UTC
    You mean employers train employees? What country is this again? We just fire employees and hire new ones. Training is too expensive.

    I learn by reading PerlMonks when I should be working! Heck, I don't even write Perl for a living, it's that bad!

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