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That seems like an odd question for your boss to ask considering you are not about to leave for another employer. In my 8+ years in accounting if you leave they just fill your spot with someone cheaper. And I have been through the wringer with jobs, about one a year, either the company closes, relocates, or downsizes. So having someone say what will it take to keep you is not the norm in todays world.
But since he made the offer you should really think carefully about it. One thing I have learned is money is not as important as I thought when I got out of college. Now I feel job satisfaction is really the key, something I dont have with my current postion. I would be willing to take less money if I knew I would be happy.
If I was given that question I would probably lean towards more vacation since there is never enough of that. At present I get 2 weeks a year which is a joke. For me another week would go a long way towards me liking my job. If you have family then this would also be a way for you to spend more time with them. I have to hand it to the Europeans, they really get this, just look at thier typical vacation and maternity leave time.
Or maybe increased responsibility. If he is sincere then maybe you showing a willingness to take on more could be very beneficial down the road. If its a small business that he is going to sell someday he may ask you first if you want to take over.
"My whole life existence is to try and make your life a little easier and more profitable".
Oh forget it as the brown-nose stuff never seems to work. I would tell him what you would really like is a chance for advancement and to bring the company into a more profitable and technical position. You don't have to ask for money as those things would bring more money to you by default.
"Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony
How long have you worked for this guy?
How many people work at your shop?
How old is this guy?
Is it a profitable shop?
Are you a supervisor?
Could you be or want to be a supervisor?
Has anyone left lately?
How many days a week does your boss work?
How many days a week do you work?
Are you ever on call?
I used to be the boss, take this little survey and we'll see what happens.
I know some of the more professional type people do this type of thing so I thought I would ask what is normal or acceptable. If you could ask for something to make your job a better place, what would it be?
If he doesn't pay for your health insurance for your entire health insurance (and your family), getting that would be very great in the future if health-care inflation continues to outpace regular inflation.
The vacation thing isn't bad, depending on how much you have. If you've got 3-4 weeks, you may find that you can't or won't take that much anyway (especially if you are a supervisor or one of the 'go-to-guys').