Q&A: Associates: Negotiate the benefits you deserve


How can I earn perks like vacation days and professional memberships during my next contract negotiation?

It's typical to "underask" when you're seeking raises or increased benefits, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Shawn McVey, CEO of Innovative Veterinary Management Solutions in Phoenix, Ariz. So don't sell yourself short by asking for too little. Even in a recession, CE is a good investment, so offer to share what you learn with the rest of the practice for the privilege of attending more meetings. Perks like additional time off typically cost practices little, so consider asking for them rather than a salary increase. The best time to approach a practice owner for more benefits is after five years of employment, since practices typically follow salary benchmarks and can't offer endless raises. If your practice has a mission statement, use it as inspiration when making your case to the boss.

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