You just received a job offer. Great news! You’ve cleared the interview process, presented a polished resume, and won the hearts of your future managers. But the process is far from over; now you have to determine whether or not you’ll accept the offer.
This decision comes down to more than just your salary. The job you take now can set the path for your entire career. It can also have a ripple effect in other areas of your personal life, healthcare coverage, and more.
What you’ll be paid is obviously a huge factor in navigating a job offer, but here are a few other things to consider before accepting the new role.
- Experience Gained: Sometimes a lower paying job will offer you the chance to gain more skills faster than you would with a higher paying job. A job with broader responsibilities can result in learning more skills in a shorter period of time, helping you gain more experience and preparing you to qualify for a higher paying job later on.
- Management Style: Management style can make or break your experience in a new position. If you require someone to constantly monitor your activity in order to get the job done, a laid-back manager might not be best for you. Likewise, if you prefer to keep track of your own progress, a micromanager might drive you crazy. Also consider the manager’s interaction with employees and feedback style, which can both play a big role in job satisfaction.
- HSA and Health Insurance: What kind of health insurance does your potential employer offer? This is important to consider! A lower salary paired with an amazing health insurance plan and Health Savings Account (HSA) can potentially put hundred or even thousands of dollars in your pocket each year. HSAs are a way to offset the cost of out-of-coverage medical expenses. The money is also tax-free and can rollover year after year.
- Work/Life Balance: Are you someone who needs ample downtime, or hates to bring work home with you outside of the 9-5 timeframe? If so, the work/life balance culture at your new potential employer is important to consider. Be sure to ask about the demands of the job. A salary you thought was very generous might seem smaller when it requires you to work more than 40 hours a week.
- Paid Vacation Time: Having some downtime while still getting paid can do wonders for your job contentment and productivity, benefitting you and the company. Make sure you’re aware of the company’s vacation policies before you make any decisions.
- Retirement Plans: Your ability to set money aside and plan for the future can affect the rest of your life well beyond your time at your new job. Ask about different retirement and savings plans like 401(k)s or 403(b)s, and then consider what kind of contribution your employer will make. Employers that are willing to match your contributions show that they value their employees.
- Location: Don’t underestimate the power an easy commute to work or flexible work from home options can have on your overall job satisfaction. Make sure you are comfortable with gas costs, commute time, and the office environment. Remember, if you’re not comfortable with the office environment, your productivity may suffer.
- Stipends: Think about the resources you will need to effectively do your job. This can include technology, software programs, a new wardrobe/uniform, and transportation and housing costs. If the employer is willing to provide stipends for things like this, it can make a difference in your productivity (and your wallet).
- Growth Potential: Does the position you’re considering come with the opportunity for a promotion? A job that pays less now may be best if there is a possibility of being promoted in the future. The decisions you make now can shape where your career takes you in the next 5, 10, and even 20-30 years.
If you can put money blinders on and see past the temporary financial gains you may receive from a new job, you’ll find there’s a lot more to consider before accepting a job offer. Choosing not to focus solely on your salary and keeping the above things in mind as you navigate potential job offers can actually earn you a better quality of life in the end. If, after careful evaluation, you decide that the job is not for you, here are some tips for turning down a job offer in a professional way.
Next time you’re making a career choice, consider finances, but don’t forget professional growth, fulfillment in the workplace and at home, and overall contentment— after all, money isn’t everything!
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