Money isn’t everything. Yet, when most of us embark on a job search, it’s the primary factor we consider in deciding whether a job is worth taking.
We typically define compensation as, ‘the money we get for working’, but another definition for the word compensation is,
something that counterbalances or makes up for an undesirable or unwelcome state of affairs.
Let’s face it. For most of us, being at work is an undesirable state of affairs. We’d certainly rather be hanging out with our friends, going for a walk in the park, taking a nap or travelling the world instead of going to work every day for years and years on end, right? So, compensation is the thing that makes up for the fact that we have to show up at a job instead of doing whatever we want. It’s the price we accept for selling our time and talents to a client or a company.
But when we only accept money as payment in this transaction, we’re forgetting about the value of other things that we’re giving up in the deal. Things that have nothing to do with money, but would do a lot to make up for the fact that you’re at work instead of snoozing under the covers.
5 Forms of Non-Monetary Compensation
Autonomy / Ownership
The ability to turn your own ideas into reality is an often-overlooked form of compensation. A job that gives you the opportunity to lead projects, come up with ideas or plans for your company or department, or just the freedom to accomplish your own work tasks in the way you see fit and without being micro-managed is much more satisfying.
The ability to wear what you like; not having to invest part of your salary in a totally separate wardrobe for work.
Flexible Work Schedule
Being able to structure your work day as you see fit – working on the days and times when you’re most productive. Being able to schedule your ‘real life’ into your workday.
Flexible Work Location
Being able to do your work wherever you see fit. Having the option to change work location as needed.
High-Performing or Highly Experienced Co-Workers
Working alongside super-smart or super-experienced people is like getting a free education. I owe every soft skill and business know-how I have to working with, observing and learning from people who were way better than me at what we did. Learning via traditional education does have value, but learning via association and apprenticeship is priceless.
Of course there are other forms of non-monetary job compensation like: health benefits, gym memberships, cell phone discounts and the like, but since these job ‘benefits’ are fairly standard and usually available to every employee, I feel like they’re not as valuable as the ones listed above.
Not all of these forms of non-monetary compensation will be available in every industry or for every job role. But some of them will be. And you should be sure to ask for them during the interview and selection process. If not, you could literally be selling yourself short.
And you’re worth more than that.
What other forms of work compensation would sweeten the deal for you? Have you been able to successfully negotiate any of these forms of compensation for a job?