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Science Careers Blog

November 29, 2007

More Space for Negotiation

According to an article published last week in Ecoaula, the education Web site of the Spanish financial newspaper El Economista, today's university graduates are in a privileged position when negotiating a job with a company. At least in Spain, "university graduates know that their specialised training is worth more than money compensation, and for this reason they feel in the position to demand from companies a bonus in personal benefits," writes Chus Muñoz, the article's author. 

Among the perks Spanish graduates want are opportunities for life-long training and long-term prospects for professional development. Also important to them are flexible working hours and what has come to be known in Spain as "emotional salary" -- a series of company policies that help employees achieve a good work-life balance.

Why the change in the balance of power between employees and employers? According to a study recently released by consulting firm PeopleMatters, it's the aging of the Spanish population and a greater demand for well-trained employees. "The shortage of talent guarantees ... a good salary, but [well-trained workers can] also demand, in addition, other things," Muñoz continues in the article.

That may not be possible in all countries, sectors, disciplines, or companies -- but it is a good reminder that, when negotiating for a job, there's more than just salary to contemplate. So before closing the deal, take some time to think about what you would need to be a fulfilled, well-rounded employee. Provided it's reasonable, ask for it courteously and be willing to compromise. It won't hurt to ask.

You may read the article in full here (in Spanish).

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