Understanding your job offer and making the right decision for you is the most difficult part of your job search. You finally received a job offer that you are excited about after so many interviews. When a job offer is extended, salary and bonus are the main thing that gets discussed. There are so many other important elements to a job offer that you want to make sure you understand before accepting the offer.
Health insurance seems like an obvious one but there are things to consider with the health insurance, like how much of the premium you are expected to contribute. Some companies require employees to contribute 30% while others require 50%. All these additional deductions take away from your compensation. It’s important to understand what you must contribute to other benefits as well. You need to research what is a competitive compensation package within your industry and field. If the company offers a 401k plan, it is critical to know the contribution percentage that they match. If they offer a pension plan, that’s extremely valuable in this day and age. Less and less companies are offering pension plans and from a long-term retirement savings perspective, it’s an advantage.
Time Off Policy
You want to understand your vacation time allowance and how long you have to wait to take vacation time. If you have a trip already planned and have purchased your tickets, that’s something that typically can be negotiated upfront. Some companies have a paid time off bucket that’s flexible in terms of how you use it where they lump in vacation time, personal time and sick time. If work life balance is important to you, you want to understand your time off benefits. It’s also something you may want to considering negotiating. You may come from a company where you have 4 weeks off and this new company may only offer you 2 weeks because their policy is seniority based.
Negotiating your compensation package takes finesse. If you decide to negotiate, you want to continue to stay positive and relay how appreciative you are about the opportunity. It’s a balancing act and if you rub them the wrong way, you could potentially lose a great opportunity. Keep in mind, if you are coming to the table as a recent graduate without any relevant work experience, your leverage is limited. It depends on a number of factors including the experience and skill set you bring, company needs, the competitive salary range for your role and level, and some other things to consider.
Do your research so you know what you are realistically worth in the job market. It’s natural to get excited about a job offer especially one you feel is a great opportunity. Make sure you understand the important elements of the job offer. Do your due diligence and ask questions so you are not surprised later on. This is where you will be spending most of your waking hours. You want to make sure you are satisfied with the job offer and are going in with your eyes wide open.