My current position

I have a job that I really like, and suits me quite well. It is in the software industry and I am writing code for websites. What makes it great I suppose is also my working environment. My boss lets me drive my code and pretty much stays out of my way, so I am "empowered" to make whatever changes I see fit, and he trusts my judgement and overall we have a good working relationship. Overall this position is good.

The pay is somewhere between $75-78K with 2 weeks paid time off, 10 holidays and about 4 unpaid time days off.

The trigger towards PTO/salary

Now, all would be fine, but my husband keeps bugging me to ask my work for more days off and work has been pushing back, keeping time off as-is. Ideally 1 more week paid time off will be good. And also the salary is on the lower end for I could be worth. Sure, more days off and higher salary will be nice. I also have already rocked the boat with time off before and company gave me some free time off that did not go on the books since they got some publicity in return. I did not bug them about salary much as my stance has been "you don't have to raise my salary as long as I get more days off". But neither salary nor days off were raised officially other than policy-induced yearly raise.

The action

So being lead by my husband, I started to talk to some recruiters. I got me an interview this coming week where (should everything go right) the offer will be 3 weeks PTO, several personal days. There are 7 holidays. Basically about the same time off, just different times and called different names. But higher salary, over $10K higher.

My husband's idea is to use the offer as an ammunition to get more days off. Or maybe higher salary, or both. And also to give my boss more ammunition for use to help him get me a raise/promotion/whatever the company decides to give or not give.


How do I best handle this? Considering the goals that my husband is pushing towards more time off to travel and I can certainly use more time off myself. And more money will also be nice. To jump start .. here is what I am thinking, where maybe I can do something like this...(?). ..

  1. March to my boss with offer in hand and say, "you know, I really like working here, and you know that, but my husband is retired and he wants to travel more and my mom who lives in another state also requests more of my time, and I would like to see what you (aka company) can do for me. Then place printed offer on the table. I know that you (company) cannot do this in vacuum, so I want to use this this opportunity (the offer) to show that I am worth more than my current compensation is at this company. Can you consider my message and let me know if you can do anything for me in regards to getting more time off. (Or salary, or both)?

My boss doesn't know I have been looking or that I have an interview so me with an offer will probably be at least a little bit unexpected. But after all, he is in management so I don't think it will come as a big shock, but still he is a person and not a robot, and he likes me, so I imagine there will be a moment where he'll be surprised. But maybe he will be excited, since the offer will indeed give him more power with HR, to negotiate more perks, benefits, or salary for me, as he has been trying to do that, but in vaccuum.

I don't want to screw this up so I am wondering how to approach this with least damage for my work-relationships, and with the most win for my personal life?

3 Answers 3


How do I best handle this?

You need to be a bit careful here.

When I read your proposed scenario, the first thing that jumped to mind was "Chris is going to retire soon to please her husband and mom." If your manager reaches a similar conclusion, he may not give you addition money or benefits, but may instead start preparing for your departure. That could mean no more promotions, and no more choice projects.

If I were your manager, I'd probably ask why a few more dollars or another week off would make your husband and mom happy enough for you to stay. A retired husband that wants to travel a lot, and a mom in another state that wants more visits probably means an additional week or a few $k won't make enough of a difference to matter. Managers who suspect their employee will leave soon anyway may not be motivated to negotiate for additional benefits on your behalf.

If you choose to have such a conversation with your manager, you probably should leave the pressure from your husband and mom out of it. And only toss down a written offer if you are prepared to take that offer should your request be denied. Anything else puts you in a very awkward situation.

You may wish to have a long chat with your husband (and perhaps your mom) first, to figure out between you what you really want out of your life - both inside and outside of work. Perhaps it's time for you to retire. Or perhaps you would be better off requesting a reduced, part-time schedule. That could allow you the time off for travel and family visits that would make everyone in your life outside work happier.


I can't think of a single time I have seen anyone succeed in getting more vacation time than the usual schedule once they were an employee. First that is a perk that is hard to hide (you are after all out of the office more than anyone else) and it leads to other people wanting the same perk, so companies are less inclined to give it. So you can try, but you are more likely to get more money than more vacation time.

If you choose to go this route, be aware that they may not choose to counter your offer and you will have to accept the new job. You may know if they have a history of making counter offers from other people who have given notice. If you know they generally will try to keep a valuable employee, then it might work. If they never do counter offers then it is highly unlikely to work.

I will also second what Joe said, another week of vacation time is not going to make your retired husband happy. He needs to travel without you or accept the limitations of your job or provide enough income that you don't need to work at all. Alternatively, you could look at negotiating the ability to work remotely with your boss which is often a much easier sell. Then you could go to various places with him but work during the day. We used to have a guy who spent 3-4 months a year in Europe while they visited his wife's family but continued to work remotely with only a 1 week vacation during the trip.


Assuming you get a written offer with no contingencies and that is everything that you expect:

Decide which job you want.

  • If it is the new job, then resign your current job.
  • If it is the current job, decline the offer from the new job.
  • If you want to gamble and can live with the new job, then try and negotiate a better deal with the current job. You can start without showing them the offer, but you probably have to show it to them. If they don't meet your demands, then accept the offer from the new company and resign your current position. Of course if they do meet your demands you have to decline the offer from the new job.
  • If you want to gamble and if you want to keep the current job, then ask for the new job to up their offer. If they meet your demands accept it, and resign from your current company.

If you negotiate with the current employer they may meet your request, but they could decide your are ultimately a short timer. If you negotiate with the new company, they could decide to go with their second choice.

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