5 Considerations Before Accepting the Job (Besides Salary!)

When deciding whether or not to accept a job offer, it’s important to look at more than just dollars and cents. Money is important, and we all obviously want as much as possible, but a job can and should bring with it many other benefits that matter to us, sometimes, more than money.

If you’ve received a job offer, make sure to take the following in to consideration:

  1. Traditional Benefits – What typical benefits come along with the position?  Do they offer health, dental and vision insurance? How about disability and life insurance?  401(K) or other retirement savings program? Look deeper than just whether they offer something or not.  Sure, they offer health insurance – but how much does it cost you?  Is there a high deductible? What are the co-pays?  Great they have a 401(K) – but do they contribute to it?
  2. Work/Life Balance – Does the company offer flexible hours?  Does the culture of the organization recognize the needs of working parents? Are there options to telecommute from time to time? Finding a flexible work environment can be one of the greatest non-financial benefits that exists.  A company that provides flexible hours and generous time off programs, tends to trust employees and respect that they have lives outside of the office.
  3. Culture – What is the culture of the office look like? Does it seem like co-workers like each other?  What’s the general aura of the office – upbeat or heads-down? It’s important to find a company culture that suits your personality, skills, and career goals.
  4. Perks – What perks does the company offer?  Many company offer lots of perks like free parking, fitness facilities, discounts at retailers, onsite cafeteria, etc.  While they may seem minor, company perks can have a positive impact on your quality of life.
  5. Room for Growth – Does the job and/or the company offer you the opportunity to grow professionally?  Is there a culture of promoting from within?  Does the company invest in training or tuition reimbursement?  If you find a company that is willing to invest in you – you will be able to grow your career – and your salary!

Deciding whether or not to take a job offer is a big decision, one that should not be made lightly. But salary isn’t the only thing to consider. Make sure to look at the total picture before you sign on the dotted line.

What other aspects of a job offer should be considered before accepting?

This post originally appeared on the Personal Branding Blog

New Moms Through Surrogacy – How Should They Be Treated as it Pertains to Benefits?

A Lexington, Massachusetts pharmaceutical company, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, is being sued by an employee claiming discrimination for the company not providing her with the same paid maternity leave that they provide to other new moms.  What’s different in her case?  She used a surrogate for the pregnancy and therefore, the company is categorizing her pregnancy in the same way they would a new father and an adoptive parent.  This resulted in five days of paid leave instead of thirteen weeks of paid leave for mothers who bear their own children.  The employee argues that the children are biologically hers and that she should be entitled to the full leave.  Note:  there is no claim of violation of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in this situation.

So what’s right in this situation?  It’s a tough one.  In all likelihood, the thirteen-week leave is probably covered by a Short Term Disability (STD) policy, not by the company directly.  The policy most likely does not have maternity defined in a way where the insurance company would approve the claim.  The intent of paid maternity through STD is for health recovery, not necessarily to spend time with your new baby.  (Heartless I know!).   Also, if the company is not providing other parents whose health was not directly impacted by the birth of a new child (fathers, adoptive parents) with a thirteen week leave, why would the fact that the child is biologically yours suffice as an argument.

In my opinion, the law has not been broken here.  Cubist is likely sticking to the guidelines of their insurance policy and other parental leave programs that they have in place.  While the program may not be the most family-friendly, most companies offer no paid leave to fathers or adoptive parents.

So what do you think?

For more information, you can read the Boston Business Journal’s news story.

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