When you get your first job offer, it's easy to get swept up in the moment and forget to do your homework. (Homework never really goes away.)
But as Krista Weber will tell you, the proposed salary is only part of the employer's package that you should consider before accepting or declining an offer.
Weber serves as human resources director at Dupaco Community.
As the next wave of college graduates interview for positions in the "real world," here are six sometimes-overlooked factors to weigh before taking or leaving the offer on the table:
- Location, location, location: Homebuyers are taught to always think "location, location, location." The same is true for job seekers. What type of work environment is it? "Just because there are openings doesn't mean that it will be a good fit for you if the company has a different vision," Weber says. Get a better feel for the environment by asking questions like these: What kind of schedule will I have? What is the employee turnover? What opportunities will I have for growth at this company? Why is this position open?
- Go straight to the source: You'll get some of your best information about the company from its employees. If you know someone who works there, take the time to ask what that person likes and doesn't like about the workplace.
- Retirement planning: Find out whether the employer offers a retirement plan. And ask the follow-up questions: What type of plan is it? When can I contribute? Is there a company match? What is vested, and how long before I am vested? "You may not be interested in more than salary right out of college, but you really should look at the big picture," Weber advises. "The amount of retirement money you can earn starting at such a young age is incredible when you look at the long term."
- Health insurance: Does the company offer health insurance? How much are the premiums, and what does the insurance cover? Private insurance can be very expensive. And if the employer offers an inexpensive policy, it might not cover much in the way of an unexpected serious illness.
- Other insurance: Does the company give you access to life or disability insurance? "Disability insurance is really important, but people don't think about it," Weber says. If you become injured or sick for an extended period, what will pay your bills while you're not reporting to work?
- Wellness benefits: Find out whether the employer offers wellness benefits, which might include health-risk assessments and discounts on health insurance premiums for wellness participants. "It shows that the company cares," Weber says.
By Emily Kittle