Job Search: Do Not Overvalue the Benefits Package


benefitsDuring a job search, most candidates focus on several key things: the salary, the workplace environment, and the benefits package. Typically, job seekers have a certain threshold in mind of each of those categories. They might, for example, want to make a certain amount of money per year and find themselves interested in a specific benefits package. If the benefits package is tempting enough, many job seekers are willing to sacrifice other desires in order to gain it. There are, however, several things that should be taken into consideration before they take that leap.

The Cost of the Benefits
Great insurance is wonderful, but not if the company is offering a smaller salary as compensation. In many cases, the amount the company pays in insurance isn’t equal to the cut the job seeker takes to their preferred salary. Each job seeker should, therefore, consider the cost of the benefits before accepting the job–and determine whether or not they’re worth accepting a lower salary in order to have them. Plenty of vacation, sick leave, healthy snacks and a great employee engagement program are all excellent, but they may not make up for other pitfalls such as cost of living and making a living wage.

Long-Term Goals
Many job seekers get lost in getting a job–any job–as quickly as possible. When they have their choice of jobs or are willing to wait for the right one, however, they’re typically focused on what this job can do for them. They want to dive in and get started in their latest position as soon as possible. Long-term planning, however, is critical to accepting each new job along the way. Job seekers should ask themselves where they plan to be in five, ten, and twenty years. Ultimately, they should accept the job that will help position them for their next advancement.

A great benefits package is prime incentive for choosing a new place to work. Unfortunately, it can also be a snare designed to bring in potential candidates without allowing them to look too far into potential pitfalls associated with the job.