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Non-salary negotiations – What to ask for and how to get it

Written by Ashworth College on Friday, 23 June 2017. Posted in Career

Non-Salary Negotiations – What to Ask For and How to Get It

It’s common to think that workplace negotiations always involve salary, but having such a narrow focus can limit your career growth. Looking at other employee benefits available to you gives you more ways to negotiate, and can be a great way to avoid feeling stuck at work.

Exploring your options can take some work, but it’s worth it since many companies offer a variety of attractive perks. These negotiables may include professional development opportunities, flexible work/life balance, or more “tangible” things like financial reimbursements. Here are some of the things to ask for and negotiation tips to help you get them.

What to ask for

Project placement - While titles and salaries are inevitable factors in your career journey, positioning yourself to help with a project typically “above your paygrade” can help jump-start your next promotion. Asking for and capitalizing on a specific project shows your ambition while providing an opportunity to prove your worth.

Tuition reimbursement - Your employer may offer this benefit to help offset their team members’ education expenses. Although you’ll initially pay out of pocket, employees may see some or all of their tuition costs covered at the end of a program. This is especially relevant during a time when “the college degree is becoming the new high school diploma,” according to a New York Times article.

Professional development opportunities - Many organizations will budget for “PD” opportunities ranging from specific industry/discipline classes to speakers, conferences and seminars. Since it’s a win-win for both employee and employer and shows your interest in improving career skills, asking for paid professional development might be one of the safer “asks” in workplace negotiations.

Wellness programs and perks - Whether your employer subsidizes a monthly gym membership, pays for yoga/training classes or offers rewards for reaching healthy benchmarks, wellness perks are more common than ever before. According to a recent Forbes article, companies are recognizing they need some type of wellness initiative to stay current and competitive. You can’t do your job right if you’re not at work or performing at the highest level due to your health and wellness.

Schedule flexibility (hours and location) - Unless you’re happy working the same hours at the same space every day of your job, you’re probably interested in negotiating “flex time” or remote work options. Once typical “9 to 5” jobs are becoming less and less standard, with many companies allowing employees to designate work from home days or occasionally alter when they start and end their work days.

Transportation or parking reimbursement - If you’re a regular commuter, why not ask for transportation reimbursement to help you get to and from the place you’re working? If you drive to work, employers may help offset gas and/or parking costs, while urban commuters may get their public transportation costs reimbursed or subsidized.

Physical office/work space - Setting yourself up for success means actually creating an environment for success. If you’re looking for a more comfortable, productive work setting, talk to your employer about your physical space. You may even be able to tie this into a conversation about flexible scheduling/location (i.e. working from home or remotely) to help change-up your surroundings.

How to get it: Negotiate like a pro

Plan and prepare for what’s on – and off – the table - Take the time to research what you want and decide if each item is a realistic option, then prioritize your perks. You want to avoid asking for things that are off limits due to strict company or legal factors, like disability coverage or 401(k) contributions which are more pre-determined than the list of negotiables above.

Look over a total package breakdown - Ask your current or prospective employer for a complete list of benefits that match your current or desired position. This will help you get a big-picture understanding of what’s already in place for you versus things you aim to add. You may even see benefits that you didn’t know were available, and therefore won’t want to ask for in negotiations.

Analyze the field - Research is your best resource when negotiating at work. Analyzing the common benefit options for your industry could sway the conversation in your favor. Compare what you’re looking for with what you’re finding is available to other employees in similar positions.

Keeping in mind that negotiations may not feel like the most comfortable conversation, be polite and firm in what you’re asking to ensure both sides reach a good conclusion at the end of the conversation(s). Be prepared, be confident and remember the negotiation process is an investment in your daily happiness and career goals.

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Career When Hard Work Isn’t Enough, Here’s What You Need to Succeed

You’ve been studying hard and working towards that 4.0 GPA. But, is that what employers will care about most? While good grades will get you far on your career journey, soft skills can get you even further. Excellent grades don't guarantee spot on performance, but developing soft skills can show potential employers that you have what it takes to adapt, learn, and confidently take on new tasks as they’re given to you. In fact, 31% of teachers think it’s more important to develop soft skills. Here are the skills you need to impress employers.

Succeed with a strong work ethic

Companies across the United States are finding it difficult to find applicants with soft skills, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some skills are difficult to teach and work ethic is one of them. Employers will be impressed if you possess this skill right from the start. Having a strong work ethic means you’re organized, timely, and dedicated. But, that’s not all. Work ethic also means you budget your time wisely while being able to work independently or with a team. Either way, you can be trusted to get the job done every time and without excuses.

Think outside of the box

Employers want candidates with critical thinking and problem-solving skills. That means you need to be creative and curious. Stand out from other applicants by showing you can make informed decisions and analyze situations. No matter the field, you’ll need to think critically and understand problems while providing solutions. You’ll also need to adapt to new challenges and take ownership of problems as they arise. Thinking outside of the box can go a long way. Set yourself apart by approaching challenges in a critical way through analysis, open-mindedness, and creativity.

Communication is key

Communication skills go beyond talking. To be a good communicator you need to be able to effectively articulate your needs and also listen to the needs of others. Employers look for candidates who can communicate their ideas and receive the ideas of their coworkers with an open mind. No matter the career, you’ll need to communicate with coworkers, clients, customers, or vendors. As an employee, you may find yourself discussing problems, giving instructions, and working in teams. Being able to do so effectively can help you advance your career. By bringing forth clear ideas, plans, and processes for how to improve goods or services in your company in an easy to understand manner, you'll show your employer how invested you are in what you do.

There’s no “I” in team

Teamwork really does make the dream work, and employers recognize that. That’s why employers look for candidates who work well with others. As an employee you’ll often work with your colleagues on projects and you may not always see eye to eye. Being part of a team doesn’t just mean working together. It also means you give and receive feedback and constructive criticism. Collaboration skills are essential and employers look for candidates who can work independently while also contributing to overall team goals.

Spread positivity

A smile goes a long way. While you may not think a positive attitude is the key to succeeding in the workforce, employers are genuinely interested in candidates who are optimistic and are refreshing to be around. As an employee, you should be friendly and eager to work. It’s especially important to remain positive in a less than ideal work environments. Your enthusiasm, patience, and overall energy won’t go unnoticed.

Go beyond your grade

While a high GPA is certainly something to celebrate, remember that employers are looking beyond your grade when considering you for a position at their company. Job candidates who can think outside of the box, understand teamwork, can come up with creative solutions, and possess leadership skills are in demand. Work to strengthen these skills like you would any other lesson you learn at school. With hard work and a dynamite set of soft skills you can succeed in work you’re passionate about!

woman walking down a road

Career Career Programs You Can Start & Finish This Year

If you’re ready for your next career adventure or if you’re looking for something new and exciting on your current career path, you don’t have to take the long road. Ashworth is here to help you embark on your journey towards a rewarding career. Here are 10 programs you can start and finish this year.

Child Care Provider

The need for child care providers is increasing. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 1,298,700 people will be employed as child care providers by 2026. Parents rely on child care providers to help keep their kids safe while also aiding in their intellectual growth. As a child care provider you may work in a daycare center, before- or after-school program, preschool, or home visit. Through our Child Care Provider Career Diploma program, you’ll develop skills to care for children from birth to school age in as little as four months.

Upon completion of the program, you’ll become a member of the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC).

Medical Billing and Coding

Learn in-demand skills with our online Medical Billing and Coding Career Certificate. This program will help prepare you for work in doctor’s offices, medical practices, hospitals, and clinics. With a growing aging population that requires medical treatment, medical billing career opportunities are expected to grow by 13% by 2026 according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

You’ll learn the responsibilities of a medical biller/coder, the purpose of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), billing guidelines for medical needs, the life cycle of insurance claims, and the need for accurately coding diagnoses and procedures using industry-standard coding systems.

Heating and Air Conditioning

Commercial and residential buildings require HVAC systems, leaving a need for qualified professionals to install, maintain, and replace those systems. In our online Heating and Air Conditioning Career Diploma program, you’ll learn skills such as how to identify systems and components used for heating and air conditioning, understand standard installation procedures, and troubleshoot and maintain HVAC installations and commercial refrigeration in as little as four months.

This program also offers students the opportunity to complete the EPA 608 Certification Exam.

Bookkeeping

If you’re interested in financial data, spreadsheets, and statistical reporting then a career in bookkeeping may be for you. Our online Bookkeeping Career Diploma program will help prepare you to meet entry-level bookkeeping needs for businesses of all sizes. You’ll learn the basics of bookkeeping and accounting practices, to explain the concepts of cash and accrual accounting, to prepare payroll transactions, and assist in basic internal controls to prevent theft, embezzlement, and check and credit card fraud.

Dog Obedience Trainer

If you have a furry friend who you trained or if you enjoy helping friends train their new pet then you might want to consider starting our online Dog Obedience Trainer Career Diploma program. As dog owners seek help training their pets, animal trainer careers are expected to grow 20% by 2026, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In this program, you’ll learn the roles and responsibilities of dog trainers, different breed characteristics, problem behaviors, and critical periods of dog behavior in as little as four months.

Event Planning

If you’re detail oriented, organized, and enjoy working with people then you may want to consider a career as an event planner. In our Event Planning Career Diploma program, you’ll learn the role of an event planner, the importance of the interview process and how to determine the budget, size, and style of events, how to plan various events, such as birthdays, religious celebrations, showers, and more, and business considerations involved in running an event planning business.

Enrollment in this program also comes with a one-year student membership to Meeting Professionals International.

Graphic Design

If you have a love for art and design and want to turn your passion into a rewarding career then our online Graphic Design Career Diploma program may be right for you. In this program, you’ll learn the elements and principles of design and how to apply them to print and web projects. You’ll also learn to use graphics software from Adobe Creative Cloud®, including Photoshop®, Illustrator®, InDesign®, Muse®, and Edge Animate®.

Retail Management

If you’re looking to enhance your resume and are interested in being in a role that combines leadership and interpersonal skills with sales knowledge, then consider enrolling in our online Retail Management Career Diploma program. Growth in managerial roles in expected to increase with 77,300 new jobs expected for first-line supervisors of retail sales workers by 2026, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In this program, you’ll learn the basics of retail management and merchandising, including organizational structure and key positions, growth and expansion, consumer communication, and merchandise layout and presentation.

Wedding Planner

You love love and you’re a people person, but most importantly, you enjoy planning parties. Newly engaged couples often seek the help of professionals to plan their big day. By enrolling in our Wedding Planner Career Diploma program you can turn your love for love into a career. You’ll learn the role of a professional wedding planner, wedding customs, rituals, and traditions, planning wedding events, including parties, showers, and ceremonies, and how to run a wedding planning business.

In this program, you’ll also receive a one-year membership for the Association of Bridal Consultants® (ABC).

Small Business Management

Whether you’re interested in launching a home-based business or opening your own store, the Small Business Management Career Diploma may be right for you. In as little as four months, you’ll learn how to plan, structure, and run a small business. You’ll cover topics such as business plan development, sales and marketing basics, and the fundamentals of small business accounting and finance.

Why Ashworth?

Ashworth programs are self-paced and available online, allowing you to study when and where you want.

When you enroll you’ll have access to your Student Portal dashboard, which provides instant access to your lessons and support. You’ll also join an active online community of students, staff, and alumni.

Contact Ashworth to start your journey towards finishing your program this year.

What Kinds of Jobs Can You Get with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education?

Career What Kinds of Jobs Can You Get with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education?

An online Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education is designed for aspiring educators who want to develop a career focused on teaching children age 4 and younger. Though you may have stayed at home with a sitter or guardian, or attended a loosely-programmed preschool or play group at that age, it’s now the 2010s and expectations for life pre-K now include structured education by teachers who have earned degrees specifically for this field.

Become a preschool teacher

If you have a heart for little kids and patience to boot, consider earning your online Associate Degree and preparing for a job as a preschool teacher! The main goal of preschool is for toddlers to gain language, motor, and social skills while having lots and lots of fun.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for preschool teachers is projected to increase 10% between 2016 and 2026.* That’s a faster-than-average growth projection for all occupations during the same time period. Since the typical requirement for launching a career as a preschool teacher is the completion of an Associate Degree, that leaves plenty of time to get started, graduate, and secure a position in this growing field.

Positions for preschool teachers are available through Head Start programs, private early childhood education centers, churches and faith-based schools, as well as through tutoring, nannying, and at-home childcare services.

The need for preschool teachers is projected to increase 10% between 2016 and 2026—a faster than average growth for all jobs!

Bilingual or want to be? Teach ELLs or become an au pair

As more school systems throughout the U.S. enroll first-generation citizens from non-English-speaking homes, there’s a growing need for trained teachers who can help the youngest of students learn English. Becoming a preschool teacher who works with English Language Learners (ELLs) is a unique way to apply your passion for ECE to a demographic of children who can greatly benefit from your language skills.

If private childcare and teaching is more your style—and you have a sense of adventure—use your ECE degree to become an au pair for a family outside the U.S., or nanny for a foreign family that’s recently moved to the U.S. In both situations, your training will bolster the children’s English-speaking skills and you’ll gain a world of knowledge about another culture.

Ready to learn how to play with purpose? Check out the curriculum of our Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. Or practice your ABCs and enroll today!

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Preschool Teachers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm (visited October 31, 2018).

 
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