Why Benefits Packages Are Just as Important as Salary
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned after so many decades in business is that finding a job that makes you happy is everything. That $80,000 a year salary won’t seem so special if you feel exhausted every night, barely get to see your kids or have to come in to work when you’re sick. Here are some perks that make a huge difference when you’re choosing the best long-term employment.
Staying Happy at Work
The reason someone loves or hates their job doesn’t usually revolve around the salary. I loved my job because it let me eat supper with my family every day, take my kids on vacation every year and kiss them goodnight every night. Here are some of the most important benefits for really enjoying your job:
• Sick leave: You don’t want to be forced to work with a fever or back spasms, trust me. Sick
leave means you can let your body recover. Paid sick leave is even better.
• Unpaid leave: Did some emergency come up with your kids or you’re welcoming a new
baby to the family? Unpaid leave makes it easier to be an amazing dad or mom.
• Adaptable work schedules: I can barely describe how incredible flexible work hours are.
Setting your own schedule lets you enjoy so many things in life compared to being chained
to a desk 9 to 5.
• Telecommuting: Being able to do some work from home are great for your emotional
health. They let you feel closer to your family and enjoy less stress. Plus, few things are as
great as working in your pajamas.
Google is famous for perks. Its employees get to eat gourmet meals for free, drink premium
coffee, take free cooking classes, use the company’s kitchens to cook, and schedule free
sessions with massage therapists!
Enjoying Your Life
The best places to work don’t just make you happy when you’re on the job; they contribute to
your happiness off the clock, too. Here are some perks you should look for:
• Paid time off: Everyone needs a nice, long vacation to recharge their batteries.
• Health insurance: This perk protects your health because it enables you to always get the
treatment you need.
• Tuition reimbursement: This one is easy to put a dollar amount on. Tuition reimbursement
reduces your stress levels a ton by eliminating some or all of your college debts.
• HRAs: Similar to health insurance, HRAs give you the freedom to choose your own
insurance and get completely reimbursed.
• Company gym memberships: Staying active keeps you healthy, and a great gym helps a
These things make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Believe me, a company that really cares about its employees’ health is one you want to be at.
Planning for the Future
If you’re a new college grad, I know that thinking about retirement and health insurance may not seem all that important (I was like that once, a long time ago). But trust me, those are two of the most essential things to look for when choosing a job. They’re the difference between a fulfilling, comfortable life and one that has you worrying about money constantly.
Take advantage of 401k early on — your employer matches your contributions dollar for dollar from day one — and look carefully at the terms offered for health insurance. Read the fine print about deductibles and coverage. You can even put a dollar amount on non-cash benefits by calculating how much you would pay for them if your employer didn’t.