How Should Executive Assistants Negotiate a Good Job Offer?

Tips for Administrative and Executive Assistants to Negotiate Salary and Benefits

Executive assistants, like all job hunters, want to negotiate the best job offer when starting a new position. But many hesitate when the moment comes.

According to, 70% of hiring managers expect candidates to negotiate. Only 55% do. Accepting a job offer or working conditions that will make you miserable is a mistake. You may end up resenting a well-matched position because of its terms.

While salary negotiation is part of any job offer, it’s not the most important thing. Non-monetary factors can impact your job satisfaction more than a minor boost to your paycheck. This article will help you negotiate a job offer that will make you happy as well as improve your bank balance.

Factors That Affect Salary

Many factors affect salary. By understanding these variables, you can get a sense of whether the compensation you’re being offered is fair – or whether you should negotiate. Think about the following:

  • Industry: Some of the top-paying industries for executive assistants are merchant wholesalers, computer manufacturers, oil & gas, and electronic component manufacturers.
  • Job duties: Positions that support upper management mean more responsibility and higher wages.
  • Seniority: More experience and responsibility mean you have more leverage in negotiating.
  • Education: Advanced degrees can sometimes – but not always – command a higher salary.

The Happiest Executive Assistants Negotiate More Than Salary

Salary negotiations can feel personal, but don’t let emotion cloud your judgement. Your negotiating position is stronger when it’s supported by facts. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good place to start. It includes the national average for executive assistants ($63,110), but also provides more specific data by state and industry.

During tough economic times, companies can be handcuffed on salary negotiations. But there is good news. Hiring managers have more flexibility in areas outside of compensation. Prioritize the non-financial items that matter to you and negotiate on those. These may include:

·      Additional Vacation Time

A healthy work-life balance is a major determinant in job satisfaction. Consider pitching the idea of extra vacation time as an investment in your happiness and productivity. Even if you don’t travel during your vacation, the time away from work can recharge your batteries and make you a better employee when you return.

·      Flexible Work Hours or Paid Time Off

If you’re caring for your children or aging parents, flexible work hours are worth negotiating. It isn’t a salary increase, but the reduced or eliminated care costs equates to more money in your pocket. You should also enquire about a company’s policies for paid time off (PTO).

·      Remote Work and Reimbursements for Home Office Expenses

Remote work is a major perk for some people. No commute saves time, hassle, and travel expenses. If remote work interests you, enquire whether it’s an option on a full-time, part-time, or occasional basis, and how the company may reimburse your expenses for costs such as internet or office supplies.

·      A Signing Bonus or Performance Bonus

An organization may not have the budget for a salary bump, but they might have the funds for a signing bonus. You won’t know unless you ask. Another smart tactic is to see if they’re open to setting performance targets for your position. It shows you’re hard-working if you’re willing to have your bonus tied to merit.

·      Funds for Professional Development

The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) offers conferences and online learning opportunities. Enquire about an annual allotment that’s earmarked for these. Even if your employer doesn’t agree, raising the issue shows you’re committed to professional development. And that’s always a win.

Stay Focused on the Big Picture

A successful negotiation is one where both parties feel satisfied with the result. Know the priorities that matter to you and be willing to give on the ones that don’t. After you submit your resume to Lakeshore Talent, we’ll chat with you to find out what you want in your next position. Our job bank is full of opportunities. Let’s match you to the one you will find highly rewarding.