“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” –Henry David Thoreau
I’m of the belief that there’s more to a job than just a paycheck. Of course, one often should consider salary as a main factor in accepting or rejecting an offer of employment (I know, you already knew that). However, there are other factors that should also be taken into account. It’s important to acknowledge that, while money is important, happiness and fulfillment at work can be found in a multitude of ways:
- Company & Office Culture
“A company’s culture is the foundation for future innovation. An entrepreneur’s job is to build on the foundation.” – Brian Chesky, Airbnb
Consider carefully the type of company you’d like to work for and the type of team you’d like to be a part of.
Do you work best in a small office or within a larger unit? What is the company’s mission statement and does it align with your professional values? Are you hoping to work for an organization that takes time to invest in their local community or would you prefer to work for a company that focuses solely on their national reach? Do you like structure or do you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere?
There’s no right answer – but working for a company or within a team whose values and behaviors do not align with yours can be both frustrating and limiting.
- Opportunity For Growth & Professional Development
Consider the benefits of attending conferences, participating in professional development seminars, and even pursuing an additional degree or certificate program. Will your new company support you by helping to fund or give you time off to pursue these options? It may not seem important right away, but participating in professional development ensures that you are growing and remain competent in your field.
In a previous role, I commuted at least 1 hour each way. In the beginning, it didn’t bother me much. A year and a half and many, many audiobooks later, it began to take its toll. Consider how far your daily commute will be and the type of environment you’d like to live and work in. Consider that the exact same salary may not look the same in two unique locations. For example, 45K per year in New York City will provide a very different quality of life than 45K per year in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Consider your own personal preferences. Do you get energized by city-living or do you prefer tranquil space? Will you be traveling in your new role? Is there an opportunity for relocating?
- Comprehensive Benefits Package
I’ve worked for several different organizations; I can say first-hand that benefits packages vary tremendously. Generally speaking, an employer will usually offer medical benefits through health insurance. Remember that not all health insurance plans are created equal – some may fit your needs (and let’s be real – your budget) more than others.
In addition, however, employers may offer dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, short-term or long-term disability insurance, paid vacation time, paid holidays, sick/personal leave time, a retirement savings plan, profit sharing, tuition reimbursement, health club reimbursement… you get the idea. A comprehensive benefits package can add thousands to your annual salary (yes, that’s true) – review the benefits carefully when accepting a new role or position.
- Transferable Skills
It can be rare (if not impossible) these days to accept a position and remain in that role for 40+ years. It simply doesn’t happen anymore.
More commonly, individuals move around based on job interests, company and role creation, and for many, many more reasons. Consider a new job, in part, as preparation for the future. Think about the transferable skills you’ll develop in your role – that is, the skills you develop in one role that you’ll likely be able to take with you to the next. These may include: analytical skills, critical thinking skills, leadership skills, customer service skills, etc. You’ll want to ensure that you are growing and ready for what the future may bring.
The next job offer you receive, remember to examine salary in combination with all additional benefits. Look closely before you sign– there might be more to an offer than you initially realize.
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