Q: I have been offered a job I want at a small firm…but despite my best efforts to sweeten the salary, it’s low. What else can I do to enhance the comp so I can feel comfortable taking the job?
A: Are there other benefits you want? The opportunity to work remotely at least a day a week, to do more hours of pro bono work, to have a larger business development account?
Ask for those and a percentage of any business you bring in. Also ask for a sit-down review in 4 to 6 months for a compensation adjustment, once you’ve had some time to show your value, as well as a review for a raise once you’ve been there a year and annually thereafter.
Consider asking for a sign-on and/or a first-year year-end bonus over and above what they would otherwise provide, if more money is your priority. If more time with your family or to pursue other pastimes is of value to you, ask for additional vacation days, a flexible schedule, or other intangible perks that would be meaningful to you.
Be calmly creative and remember that once you’ve said yes, the die will be cast. Express your enthusiasm for the job but be willing to negotiate a little more so you get the compensation package that is right, even if not perfect, for you.