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.
If you’ve taken any prescription medications, you’ve no doubt interacted with a pharmacy technician. These professionals are most recognizable as the folks at your local drug store – handing you a prescription bag and ringing up your purchase on the cash register.
Retail pharmacies aren’t the only places pharm techs work, though. Pharmacy technicians work in a variety of settings, from hospitals to mail-order prescription facilities. And their job tasks can vary greatly depending on where they work.
About half of all pharm techs work in drug stores, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In a retail environment, pharmacy technicians work under the direction of the registered pharmacist to handle a number of important tasks, including:
Most pharmacy technicians employed in a retail setting work full time, sometimes in shifts that include nights and weekends. The median pharmacy technician salary in retail drug stores is about $30,000 per year, and demand for pharm techs is expected to grow rapidly as the Baby Boomer population continues to age.
Some pharm techs don’t want to interact with the public as much as required in a drug store setting. If that sounds like you, then you may be interested to know that hospitals employ many pharmacy technicians “behind the scenes” to prepare medications for patients. Like their retail peers, hospital-based pharm techs also work under the supervision of a registered pharmacist, but they may perform more complex tasks, including:
Working in a hospital is tops for pharmacy technician pay: the median salary for these professionals comes in at nearly $37,000 per year.
Many people receive their medications through the mail these days, and while it’s true that big machines count and package those pills, the prescriptions still must be processed by someone who has passed a pharmacy technician exam.
In a mail-order pharmacy, a pharm tech might:
Pharmacy technician hourly pay in a mail-order facility might run as high as $15.50, for a median annual salary of about $31,000.
Pharm techs work in other settings, too, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, where they may package and dispense medications to patients.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a pharmacy technician, our Admission Advisors can put you on the path to enter this this fast-growing field. Learn more about the online pharmacy technician program at Ashworth College. Call 1-800-957-5412 or request free information today!
In our GO AFTER IT blog series, you'll meet fellow students and grads who committed themselves to chasing their dreams and proving it pays to GO AHEAD toward better opportunities -- no matter the obstacles to be overcome.
When Dan Brennanhusen* attained his role as the new director of safety and security for a major school district, his qualifications included nearly two decades of law enforcement and corporate security experience. He had also earned his Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Ashworth College and is a strong believer in the power of education to achieve success.
“I believe higher education is a leveraging tool to seek higher positions,” says Brennanhusen, “and with higher positions you typically are better compensated.”
While Brennanhusen was rewarded with better compensation, he feels that his Ashworth College program provided him with something much more valuable than the promise of higher pay. Even after working as a professional in law enforcement for so many years, he learned new concepts and techniques from the books and lessons in the Master of Criminal Justice Degree Program. He also discovered the practicality of his education, since he is using what he learned every day in his new job.
“I found the program to be contemporary and directly applicable to my profession. The core principles and components of my studies positively impact my career daily,” he says.
The quality of the program was unquestionably relevant to Brennanhusen’s career, but there were other benefits of an Ashworth College education that drew him into attending in the first place.
“Because I had a really busy work and family life, including two kids, I had to find a flexible program. I had been promoted to new assignments and divisions so life was as busy as it could possibly be. Ashworth College offered the accreditation and flexibility I needed to attain my objectives. The cost was also a plus.”
One might ask why a successful criminal justice professional who was already promoted would want to continue their education. According to Brennanhusen, the answer was twofold: career advancement and personal growth. At the time, he was a police sergeant and wanted to become a member of his department’s executive leadership team by working his way up to chief. After being promoted to commander, Brennanhusen realized that he would need a master’s degree to be considered for the next step up. And he knew that a higher-level degree would help him in his role for future promotions.
Says Brennanhusen, “Hiring someone always comes with some risks. I view degrees and higher education as an important piece of the puzzle. Having ‘missing pieces’ may cause a potential employer to find someone who has a more complete puzzle.”
As Brennanhusen completed his educational “puzzle,” he took his time. Aside from his competing priorities of earning a living and caring for a busy family, he says he didn’t want to merely pass assignments – he wanted to get good grades, do well and truly learn. He even paused his studies for a while so he could regroup and refocus.
Congratulations to Brennanhusen on completing his master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and the opportunities it has afforded him. If you’re interested in this field, or other fields of study, we recommend you contact an Admissions Advisor at 1-800-957-5412 who will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.
* At the request of the student in the interest of job privacy and security, a pseudonym is being used; otherwise, all quotes and information in this blog are actual and verifiable.
What’s your dream career? Working in the booming healthcare field? Criminal justice? Owning your own business?
All too often, people’s dreams get derailed because they think they can’t get the education they need to turn their vision into reality. The Ashworth College graduates in these videos will tell you otherwise. Hear their inspiring stories, and then talk to an admissions advisor today so you can stop dreaming and start pursuing your ideal career!
Wouldn’t you love to star in your own graduation video, dressed in a gown and mortarboard like these students? We would certainly love to see you walk the stage at our live commencement event to receive the certificate, diploma, or degree you earned at Ashworth College.
Learn more about the many flexible, afforedable programs available to help you start turning your dream career into a reality: Talk to an admissions advisor today!