by Matt Alderton | April 16, 2019
There's something everyone realizes when they climb the corporate ladder: Everything looks different at the top. That includes not only the jobs, but also the job offers.

"If you're a first-time executive, get ready for the negotiation talks to become longer and more detailed than previous conversations you've had about salaries and start dates," author Vicki Salemi writes in an article for Monster. "While employers expect all candidates to negotiate every job offer, at the executive level, they expect you to get especially detailed about each provision."

Employers embrace would-be executives who drive a hard bargain, because they know that executives who negotiate with them in the interview will negotiate for them with clients, partners and board members.

With that in mind, you should aim high, according to Salemi. "Obviously, salary requirements are going to be top of mind. But think beyond your paycheck," she says.

For example, you might consider asking for a wardrobe allowance. "Every executive needs to look polished and professional to the max, especially when representing the company at client and board meetings," Salemi explains. "Ask for a stipend, such as $20,000 paid annually, to cover the cost of your wardrobe. You'll need to properly care for and maintain your suits, so a portion of this amount may be used for dry cleaning bills."

Although it might feel odd during the offer stage, it's also a good idea to negotiate your eventual exit. "Employers can let you go at will for any reason at any time, so it's a good idea to have a termination provision included in your job offer," Salemi concludes. "Ask the hiring manager for a guaranteed severance package written into your actual contract, in case the company lays you off or files Chapter 11. Since this topic is sensitive in nature, approach it with tact and point out that your goal is to stay at the company for the long term … At the executive level, you should negotiate for at least six months of pay, a payout for unused PTO and COBRA eligibility -- as well as a stipend for an executive coach and/or outplacement firm for six months to a year."

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