Are you Benefiting from your Benefits?

By Joana Scharinger, Office of Career Planning

Salary is only one part of what a company can offer so always look beyond salary when evaluating a job offer.

According to a Fast Company article, a good way to look beyond salary is requesting a breakdown of the total package offered. You can ask to review a benefit summary including what’s covered and not covered. Then, you could do a competitive analysis by looking into what other companies are offering and make sure you know what’s non-negotiable for that company (401K plans, for instance, are usually not negotiable).

Requesting a summary of benefits is an important part of the process to avoid overlooking some benefits. Commute reimbursement, for example, can have a bigger impact than we think. An average American spends $2,600 annually in commuting. That will definitely make a good difference in your annual salary.

Christopher Liebbe, GGU’s Benefit Manager, reminds us there are some benefits employees usually don’t think about that they should take more advantage of. For example, retirement contribution is really important, especially if the employer is offering an employer match. If your employer is offering an employer match, you should try to get as much as possible. Other benefits Christopher mentions are vacation time accrual and accrual escalation calendar, and looking into professional development such as tuition remission or tuition exchange.

When evaluating benefit packages Christopher suggests asking questions like: What is the benefit effective date? Does the employer offer more than one medical or dental plan? What are the premiums, copays, and deductibles of each plan? Do these offerings meet my needs? Is there a vesting period for the retirement benefit? Do you match my contributions? How often may I change my retirement contribution?

After asking all your questions and gathering enough information, meticulously evaluate pros and cons of the new position so you can make your decision wisely. But do not forget to ask yourself what your inner voice says! Sometimes trusting your gut can help it too. Here is an example of a job offer evaluation when comparing a job with benefits and another one without it.

From the example above, we can see that offering more salary to compensate a lack of benefit may not be the best option. In conclusion, never overlook the benefits of a job offer. A good package can include many additional perks that add true value to the compensation! Did you receive a job offer and need assistance evaluating that? Schedule an appointment with one of our career consultants at GGUCareers.


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