If you’re contemplating a job change, you might be swayed by the promise of a bigger paycheck. And that’s understandable. But before you accept an offer, take time to look beyond the salary.
Consider the benefits
The corner office, front row parking at company headquarters, and box seats to every home game sure are great perks. But those aren’t the kind of benefits that help pay for trips to the ER or prepare you for retirement. When talking with a prospective employer, you’ll likely learn about the medical coverage and retirement savings vehicles offered.
When it comes to health insurance, find out what kind of coverage is available and understand the associated costs. Is it an HMO, PPO, or a high-deductible plan? How much will you pay and how much does the company contribute? Ask about coverage for prescriptions and other routine services. If you’re offered a high-deductible plan, you may have access to a health savings account, which allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to spend on qualifying medical expenses and lower your overall health care costs.
Retirement savings vehicles like a 401(k) or an IRA account can not only help you prepare for the future – they can impact your taxes at the end of the year. With qualifying accounts, like a 401(k), you’ll make pre-tax contributions and lower your taxable income during the years you participate. Learn what types of plans are offered and when you’ll be eligible to participate. It’s also important to know if the company offers matching contributions and if there’s a vesting schedule.
Paid time off
If you’ve been with your current employer for some time, you’ve possibly worked your way up to a good number of days (or weeks) off annually. When making the move to a new employer, you may be starting over. It’s certainly worth negotiating a reasonable number of paid vacation, sick, or personal days. And when you’re given those days, make sure you use them.
When thinking about a new job opportunity, there are plenty of things to consider. Some decisions impact your bottom line in tangible ways and some may offer quality of life benefits. Does the company pay for your phone, parking, or a gym membership? Are you looking for flexible hours and the option to work from home a certain number of days? Does the position offer the kind of opportunities and chance for professional growth you desire? For more on the subject, check out this Knowledge Place article.
Are you considering a job change? What’s most important to you? Or if you’ve recently taken a new position, what was the ultimate deciding factor?
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