How To Be Amazing At... Understanding The Employer Monetary Offering
When I first began my career, it did not occur to me to use the benefits offered by my employer. To be honest, I am aghast now as I look back at that very odd choice. Those benefits were carefully thought out by my employer and were there for me to use!
When we think about where we are going to work, we get excited about the job, especially if we are starting out in our career. But there are so many other things to think about when choosing an employer beyond the job content itself.
As you go through the recruitment process, you may believe that you are in a supplicant position because you really want the job. This can happen at any time in our careers. We get excited about a job. We get excited because someone wants us! Remember though, a critical component of any new-job process is understanding what the potential employer is offering and how that fits into your life. I can guarantee you that if you have made it to the interview stage, this potential employer really wants things to work out with you. Arriving at this stage is something to be very proud of. But we are not a supplicant. We are a candidate.
Important things to consider related to the salary/wage/benefits aspect of the employer:
In the interview, ask what salary is being offered for the position. This doesn’t mean that the salary question is your only question. But it must figure in if the information hasn’t been proactively offered to you. What if the salary is well below what you require? That’s valuable intelligence to have. After all, you’ve made yourself viable as a candidate, you’ve worked hard to achieve your current place. You can also go further and ask: “Do you have an annual salary adjustment program?” With this information, three things can happen: you can decide that this is the salary/wage you were expecting, or you can decide there is no point in going further in the discussion, or you can ask if the salary is negotiable. You are obtaining intelligence and insight.
In the interview, ask what benefits are provided by the employer and what the split is between employer contribution and employee contribution. If you have a family and dependents, ask what family benefits are provided. If you are single, ask what benefits are provided to single people. This is a very valid question. This information should form part of your decision.
In the interview, ask if there is any sort of pension plan offered, bonus structure, profit sharing, or incentive compensation.
In the interview, ask how much vacation time you will receive. Vacation time is also part of your wage package because vacation has a monetary value to you. That is perhaps not a direct line of sight depending on how the employer provides vacation, but it does have monetary value to you.
In the interview, ask about the organization’s stance on personal development. This will give you a sense of the monetary support you will receive and has the added benefit of providing a flavour of the culture of the workplace.
You can see how all this is adding up to a better picture of the employer you are considering and a better picture of what your financial situation will look like upon joining the organization.
If this all makes you really uncomfortable, you can always ask: “can I have a follow up conversation with someone specifically about compensation and benefits if now is not the time to go into that.”
Money is our security blanket. It provides independence, it enhances our pride in what we accomplish and it helps us live the life we choose. These are money questions. We cannot take a job without being aware of this information.
You may be thinking that it will impact your chances for the job if you ask these questions. It doesn’t. In fact, it shows that you are someone who cares about the whole package the potential employer is offering. Any employer who is offended by those questions may well not be the employer for you.
Here is a mantra I should have learned all those years ago: never leave employer money on the table. As soon as an employer offers something, examine it, learn all about it, enroll in it and utilize it to your benefit! The employer offering is there for you to utilize. In fact, employers spend a lot of time and money selecting what they believe are the best benefits for their people. They want them to be used. They want to be competitive in the marketplace.
One final piece of advice on this topic: talk over with a trusted advisor what the employer’s salary and benefits package includes. Find a credible financial advisor and talk it over with them. Google information on competitive wage and benefits package. Find out everything you can. Your future depends on it.
Is there a topic you would like to see covered for yourself, for your friend, for your family member?
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