Updated: Nov 17, 2021
A mistake many of us make when considering a job offer is just focusing on the financials…In other words, what we’ll be paid in the new job.
While it may be commonsense for most of us, I’d like to ensure that when you are considering a new role, you look at all the elements, both financial and non-financial that constitute the ‘package’ on offer. Of course the financials ensure we can pay the bills and live the lifestyle we want, but don’t lose sight of other aspects of the offer that very often are just as important.
I recently worked with a client who was considering taking a job $10K below what she had earned previously. In speaking to her, she considered this offer principally on the basis that the person she’d be working for was a great leader (she had worked for him previously). In this case, what ‘value’ can you put on a great leader? $10K? $25K? Too high to even assign a value? Having worked for both good leaders and poor managers, I would certainly say there is high value in working for a great leader and it adds significantly to the overall package. So, in my clients case, she may well have accepted a higher value package, albeit one with less cash…
So what other sorts of things should you consider in weighing up a job offer? Here are some things to think about:
Other financial elements beyond base salary – Such as bonus, shares, options, profit sharing and the like…Yes, most of it is ‘at risk’ and not guaranteed, but it’s part of the package and valuable when the organisation is doing well.
Location of the role – It’s rare that people enjoy a long commute to work, so saving 10-15 minutes or more of commuting time is a real benefit, especially when it comes to work-life balance.
Career prospects – What other opportunities does the new organisation provide (both within the department and outside)? Even if I’m not a career ladder-climber, does the job or organisation offer additional responsibilities, challenges or exposure?
Work hours – While most companies get their ‘pound of flesh’ in terms of our time commitment to them, having predictable and ‘fair’ hours that don’t overly encroach on our personal lives can be a boon.
Security – Unfortunately, there’s no organisation that’s completely secure, however, would the organisation’s financial results and forecasts indicate there’s more security than not? How is their industry doing as a whole? If you don’t know, you should find out!
Work environment – Will you be housed in modern, well-equipped offices or in old, worn and beyond their use-by-date furniture and fittings? While most of us would prefer not to sit on bean bags in a room with pink walls, is the office comfortable with all the required ‘corporate creature comforts’ like break rooms, coffee stations and the like?
Technology – If IT is your thing, does the organisation offer modern, fast laptops or old ‘hand-me-down’ recycled PC’s from another department or location? What systems do they use that can potentially make your worklife easier and therefore happier?
Development – What training do they offer? Leadership, soft or technical training? Tuition reimbursement? Most training has value beyond the organisation you’ve worked for and you can take it with you when you leave. Generally, we enjoy learning new things as well that can improve our performance and contribution.
Empowerment & autonomy – Most of us would rather be given a broad remit and to manage accordingly than to be micro-managed.
Communications – Is the leadership visible and do they regularly communicate to the organisation? Not just from the ‘ivory tower’ but at ground level (by walking around the office and knowing peoples’ names and a little bit about them)?
The company’s name or reputation – If the offer is with Google, Microsoft, BHP, Woolworths or Telstra, you are joining a well-known successful organisation which has a level of prestige or status associated with it (and the association that good people work there). This may be helpful not only for professional networking, but also for when you come to change jobs in the future. Having this type of organisation on your resume is guaranteed to make you stand out.
Each of us has our preferences and how much – or little – the above things matter. What is important is that you look at the offer in terms of the ‘total package’ and not just in terms of cash.
For assistance with job search in the areas of resume and LinkedIn profile development, interview skills training and fear-free networking, contact The Career Medic (Paul Di Michiel) by clicking here or visiting the website at www.thecareermedic.com
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