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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Look at you! You got swole and you loved it so much you’ve decided to help others get swole. What’s your next step? Professional certification! You already look the part of a legit personal trainer and that’s excellent for marketing your skills. But it’s a professional certification that really shows your potential clients that you’re qualified to train them. In other words, it gives them permission to trust you right from the start.
Don’t worry, training your brain for certification won’t take as long as training your body into the best physical shape of your life. You also don’t have to go anywhere to get it done; you can learn everything you need to know with online personal training courses at Ashworth College. Our Personal Trainer Career Diploma program can be completed in as few as four months and you can study at your own pace.
The program curriculum aligns with the standards set by the National Council on Strength and Fitness and helps prep you specifically for their Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification exam. Because of the NCSF mission to promote high levels of professional competency, ethics, and safety, their CPTs are considered highly-reputable industry wide.
There are nearly a dozen well-known certification programs available for aspiring personal trainers. They feature a range of costs, time commitments, and reputation levels. Here are some reasons why Ashworth College chose to base our program on the NCSF-CPT exam:
By the way, when you enroll in the Personal Trainer Career Diploma program at Ashworth College, you’ll also have the cost of the NCSF-CPT exam, practice test, study guides, and a 1-year membership covered by tuition! Once you graduate, you’ll be ready to sit for your exam without jumping through hoops. We’ll help you get prepped and get done so you can start pursuing your passion for personal training with confidence.
If your job no longer excites you as much as it once did, you may need to consider changing careers. It seems like an intimidating idea at first, but no matter where you are in your work life, making a career change could be the solution that leads to a happier, more successful you.
Before you can find success tackling something new, you have to understand what you’re leaving behind. Acknowledging that you are not happy with your current job–and figuring out why–is the first step to making a career change. Many people who are unhappy at work fall into one of these categories:
Feelings of discontent are extremely common when it comes to the working life and nearly everyone feels them to some degree at one time or another. But if you’re feeling unhappy at work more often than not, for your own health and well-being, you need to be proactive about making a change on your own terms.
Step one of finding a new path is homing in on what exactly you want to change and why. Write down your "wants" and your "don’t wants” about work. You’re not signing any dotted lines here, you’re just making notes for your own personal reference. Put everything on the table no matter how selfish or outrageous it seems because drawing hard lines between what you want and don’t want makes every step towards a new career much more likely to result in success.
If you need some guidance thinking through your feelings about your work, take this quick quiz to find out what kind of a career change might best suit your needs. You may benefit from a little tweak or you may be inspired to tackle something totally new.
One you figure out what kind of career change will inspire you, you can start taking steps toward it. In some cases, you may just need to ask the boss for a new opportunity or project that will challenge you without taking you too far from your current role. That could require a refresh of your skills, or a few steps into a new subject area. Earning a career-specific certification can be a smart investment here. You can expand your opportunities at work by digging deeper into a creative skill, business skill, trade, or something totally new.
If you’ve determined you need to make a drastic career change, you may need to start a new degree, or finish one you didn’t complete. Don’t worry! Returning to college is not as scary as it seems. The right school can be affordable and flexible to fit into your already busy schedule.
Check out the opportunities here at Ashworth College. We provide online diploma, degree, certificate and career training programs that give you freedom and flexibility to pursue additional education on your time, from your own home, and without the need for Federal student loans. You may find yourself in that dream career a lot faster than you thought possible.