So, you’ve landed your dream job. Time to talk perks and salary. But before you jump at the first offer you hear, do you know which benefits are best for you?
We’re all familiar with the term ‘work-life’ balance at this stage. Companies that are looking to maximise a healthy work-life balance for their employees should also be aware that it’s about a lot more than just flexible hours.
But it’s not just companies that need to know about the benefits and perks that would make employees’ lives easier.
Whether you’re looking for a new job, hoping for a promotion, or your life priorities are simply shifting, you need to think about what you as an employee need from your company to give you a happy and healthy working life.
Money is naturally the first thing on everyone’s mind when it comes to improvements in your career, but what do you need from life at the moment? Are you saving towards something or looking for a more comfortable living situation?
Receiving a financial bonus or a raise in your salary can be one of the most important things to you at the moment but it’s always important to think about what you might be giving up instead.
Last year’s Hays Salary Guide revealed that flexible hours is one of the core benefits important to employees.
You shouldn’t expect to be able to come in whenever you want, but if you have engagements, commitments and appointments that you need to keep outside of work, then this will be important to you.
You should talk to your employer about flexitime or working longer hours to make up the time taken on extra days off.
If you plan on starting a family, you’ll want to know what your company’s maternity and paternity leave policies are.
Health and pension schemes
Your pay packet might seem healthy, but on further inspection, you might see a lack of healthcare cover or pension schemes – things you will have to pay for yourself.
Get to know what the market is offering. Employees comparing jobs can often only think of the financial implications of annual salary, but if a seemingly lower salary includes some form of medical cover and pension contributions versus a bigger pay cheque that offers nothing extra, it might be worth taking the former.
Spend some time working out the difference in your take-home pay once the extra bills have been paid.
Where are you in your career? If it’s early days in your working life, training opportunities and professional development should be important to you.
You need to consider how you can grow within the company and it should be one of the first things you ask about – even before you talk about the salary.
After all, a handsome salary might be nice, but it’s not worth much if you can’t grow, upskill and receive promotions that will earn you more money and make you more employable.
A bigger salary in a place where there’s nowhere to go and no way to expand your experience will not pay out in the long run, compared to somewhere with a much higher ladder to climb.
Social nights or freebies
Free lunches, social nights and Christmas parties should be last on your checklist because, given the choice, most employees would choose a monetary bonus over the parties their companies fork out for.
However, these are not generally a ‘pick and choose’ scenario for the employee, so it’s important for you to get a feel for the company culture when accepting a job.
Things like free pizza can often be a big motivator for staff and a positive, fun company culture will not only keep you productive in work, but it will keep you happy in your everyday life.
Work takes up a huge amount of our lifetime, so naturally how we feel when we’re in the office and what we think about our work affects us at home. Think about the things that are really important to you before you get distracted by a high salary offer.
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