Have you ever looked at a job offer and felt the pitter-patter of your heart? Maybe it’s the butterflies of seeing all that money. Or perhaps, a sense of disappointment at wishing your future employer would have given a better offer. But here’s the bottom line: your compensation is more than just the money you take home every payday and there is more to your job offer than just the salary. Here are some additional things to consider that are not always included in the salary — and why you should look at the entire offer before accepting it.
Sometimes an offer at a lower salary will afford you more money than a higher salary offered job. Here’s why:
While you may be looking at an initial offer, the future should be considered too. You need to know what their track record has been with salary increases? Do they even give annual salary increases? Some employers regularly address this issue, and others can be sporadic. The level of pay increases also vary. One place may average 1.5% where another has averaged up to 3%.
Knowing this information can help you make the right decision now, and also can help reduce awkward conversations in the future about asking for a job raise.
Location, Location, Location
It’s the three favorite words of a real estate agent, but these words are also important to you. Cost-of-living and housing play a big part in your future location. Let’s face it: as a rule of thumb, living in a big city will be more expensive than a smaller town or a rural location. What is the best place to live? Compare and contrast at Best Places to Live!
Here are some things you need to factor into your location choice:
- Property purchase or rental prices
- HOA fees
- Property taxes and insurance
- Transportation costs:
- Car registration and insurance
- Gas prices
- Mass transit fares
- Does this state have an income tax? (some states do not have a state income tax, and this typically saves you about 7%)
Healthcare and Health Insurance
Health insurance is so important. This fact alone can be a last-minute deal-breaker for many contracts due to rising cost of health insurance. While looking over the healthcare, make sure you check out family premiums, co-payments, networks, and perks — yes, don’t forget about the perks!
Perks of healthcare include benefits of healthcare that most people neglect to use (or just forget about them) include:
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic benefits
- Acupuncture and essential oils
- Gym memberships
- Healthy groceries
- Savings on fitness wear and gym shoes
- LASIK surgery
Tuition Reimbursement & Opportunities
The thought of more schooling may be overwhelming, but in three or four years, you might want to go back and get more education. It is important to know whether the new employer offers tuition reimbursement for future degrees.
Additionally, some employers are offering college benefits for dependent children? This information can save you potentially thousands of dollars in the future.
Vacation / PTO
Here’s a hint: don’t skimp here. The work that you do as a neonatal nurse practitioner is vitally important, but it’s also mentally and emotionally exhausting. Vacation and PTO time is a necessity for you.
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you know how the PTO system works. Ask the HR person if PTO hours are accrued or if they are granted as a set number of days or weeks? Their answer could have significant ramifications.
As an example, let’s say you were to start your new job in January and your family has a vacation planned in February. If your PTO is a set granted number of hours you probably have enough vacation time to cover your time away from work. However, if PTO is on an accrual basis you probably will not. Although negotiating more vacation or PTO is not something most employers can do, it is still advisable to know those numbers when making your decision.
You may just be starting out in your career, but it is never too early to plan for your retirement. Here are some beginning questions that you may want to discuss with a financial advisor to see what is best for you:
- How much can you contribute?
- Are the contributions pre-tax or post-tax?
- At what rate does your employer match your contributions
- Does the employer contribute to your retirement plan even if you don’t?
- Are there any free contributions even if you do not put money into your employer’s plan?
- Is there a required vesting period?
- Do they have a pension plan in addition to the retirement plan?
So you’ll see, it’s not always how big is your gross pay, but how much $$$ is left in your checking account at the end of the month. This is the most important factor before taking a job offer — and while you’re considering all of this, now is a great time to read how to maintain confidence during job offer negotiations. Best of luck on your endeavors and remember, ENSEARCH is with you every step of the way!