You鈥檝e just ripped open the envelope that encases your offer letter, and your eyes dart to the number that represents one of the best parts of full-time employment: your pay. You鈥檙e immediately dismayed 鈥 it鈥檚 a living wage, but you鈥檒l be penny-pinching more than you鈥檇 hoped. You attempt to negotiate your salary to a few thousand dollars more, but no such luck. Before you pass on the opportunity (especially if it鈥檚 your dream job), try negotiating for these business-professional-approved perks to help offset a less-than-satisfactory income.

A woman sits across a table from a man at an office

1. Parental Leave: Kris Hughes, a senior content marketing manager for the software company ProjectManager, underscores the value of maternity and paternity leave 鈥 especially the latter, as urges his male companions to be persistent about the opportunity. 鈥淚t鈥檚 an understated benefit, which may not have the same quantifiable value as salary or a medical benefits package,鈥 Hughes states, 鈥渂ut it still has an immense value to the new parent to be able to spend quality time with their newborn [or adopted child] in those critical first few months.鈥 And though Hughes admits that most companies have adopted maternity leave, he cautions women against assuming so until they鈥檝e seen it in writing. You could always angle for more time off in preparation for if you become a new mama.

2. Working from Home: We鈥檝e all heard the Fifth Harmony song, but according to Valerie Streif 鈥 a former senior advisor for Mentat, an AI-based networking platform for job seekers 鈥 working from home is, in fact, a worthwhile perk. 鈥淎s tech is taking over so many aspects of our workdays, there鈥檚 no reason why employees shouldn鈥檛 be allowed to ditch their commute and instead work from the comfort of their homes,鈥 Streif remarks. She says this benefit is especially valuable for people who live in places with unpredictable weather, have children, or juggle erratic schedules (or all three!). Streif suggests requesting that this perk begin three to six months after your start date in order to prove you鈥檙e hardworking in the office first. 鈥淭his will diminish their fear of you taking advantage of an extra day off and is a reasonable amount of time to prove yourself.鈥

3. Commuting Expense Coverage: Say 鈥淪ee ya!鈥 to the subway pass line on your monthly budget. Kerri Moriarty, who runs a Boston-based professional and lifestyle consulting business with the same name, encourages requesting compensation for costs such as parking, public transit passes, work-related Uber rides, etc. Moriarty explains that this has the potential to be a win-win for both parties: 鈥淐orporate discounts and packages are often available, so your employer can likely secure a lower price than you would as an individual, and if they already provide that benefit for some employees, it鈥檚 even more cost effective.鈥 Currently, monthly subway passes in New York City are around $120, so we鈥檒l take back that $1,440 every year, please and thank you.

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4. Vacation Days: Sure, almost every job is going to allow for some days off, but Suz O鈥橠onnell, the president of Thrivatize, which offers executive advisory services, advocates for a different kind of time off: 鈥淰acation before you鈥檝e earned it.鈥 During the hiring process, make the hiring manager aware of any upcoming vacations you have planned, and see if they will allow you to take a trip without it counting toward your annually allotted vacation days 鈥 AKA free vacation (minus the travel costs, housing accommodations, and food and drink, of course). 鈥淣ine times out of ten, they鈥檒l gift it to you,鈥 O鈥橠onnell claims. Worst-case scenario? 鈥淭hey let you pre-dip into your vacation, so you don鈥檛 get it for free, but at least you can take it when you planned for it.鈥

5. Earlier Performance Review: If you鈥檙e still hung up on your pay, Dana Case has a solution for you. Case, the director of operations at MyCorporation, a company that provides services for starting and running a business, recommends negotiating a performance review within the first six months of your employment so your salary can be reassessed. When the time comes for that review, be ready. 鈥淏ring along any additional projects or assignments you have completed during this time to prove how you have gone above and beyond during your short amount of time on the job to do great work that contributes to the return on investment of the business,鈥 she encourages. Knowing there鈥檚 a raise on the horizon can offset any stress caused by a subpar starting salary.

Have you had success securing bonus benefits? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)