This one really can't be overstated. Yes, salary is incredibly important, but it's not the only factor you should consider in a negotiation. There are lots of other opportunities to improve your quality of life through your total compensation package.
Don't forget about...
- Vacation time
- Flex work schedule
- Remote work options
- 401k contributions
- Professional development funding
- Transit benefits
- Contribution toward health insurance premiums
- Student loan payment contributions
- Parental leave policies
- Travel opportunities
- Professional growth opportunities, such as speaking engagements, trainings, or being positioned as a thought leader in your field.
So, let's say you're in a negotiation and the hiring manager wants to know your salary. Saying something like "I believe $120,000 would fairly compensate for the skills and experience I will bring to this position, and I'd like to discuss the total compensation package as this conversation moves forward" communicates that yes, you have salary requirements, but you are also looking at the big picture.