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Comparing Salary Packages

Comparing compensation packages has become increasingly difficult over recent years because of the different options available. There are more pieces to the puzzle with all the vesting schedules for stock options, perks, etc., and the trickiest part of salary negotiation is comparing the new offer with what you are currently receiving.

Some standard components of a compensation package include:

Create an excel sheet with each of these line items. The first column should have your current employer's compensation package information with the other offers in following columns.

 Current
Company
Offer #1Offer #2
Salary/Wages$60,000$54,000$57,000
Bonus $3,000 
Long-Term
Incentive
   
Health
Insurance
$2,000$1,500$1,500
Life/Disability$500$800$600
Retirement Plan$2,000$2,000$2,000
Time off/Flex   
Other (Car/Phone
Allowance, etc)
   
Total
Compensation
$64,500$61,300$61,100

Creating an excel sheet in this manner makes the packages easy to compare and also helps you to remember to ask about specific points if they aren't included in the first offer.

Knowing the total value of your current pay puts you in a good negotiating position so potential new employers will know what they need to meet or beat to get you to move. Each item has a value on it, including all the perks and options you have available.

Another good tool is to know how well you're getting paid compared to others in your field. View salary tables that are available on numerous sites as well as within trade journals and your professional associations.

Employers will ultimately try to be fair in their compensation package. Just remember, ask for things you want in a professional manner, and when comparing packages, make sure you're comparing like items to get the total worth.