Maybe you got furloughed or laid off because of COVID-19 and the global recession. Maybe you’ve had the same role and conquered the same work challenges with the same team for a long time, and you’re now ready for something new.
Either way, the first two to three months of the new year are a peak time for job hunting. What sorts of features should you be looking for as you apply for your next job, outside of just salary? Here we highlight some benefits and considerations to keep in mind during the negotiation process.
Make sure the health insurance you get covers your actual medical needs. You’ll need coverage with your preferred providers. You’ll need to make sure you have the eye and dental care that you need. If you have a spouse or children, you may want them to be covered as well. Don’t just look for low premiums; make sure that deductibles and coverage align with the coverage you require.
What do you need in terms of time off? Whether it’s a particular amount of time off or the flexibility of unlimited PTO, you need to make sure you are getting what you need. If you or someone in your family tends to get sick a fair bit, that could factor into your decision-making as well.
Continuing Education & Professional Development
What opportunities are there for you to continue learning and developing out your skillset? A great employer recognizes that giving its employees opportunities to learn more keeps them happy, provides growth, and gives people confidence for future employment while making them feel nurtured in their current one. All of these help employees produce better quality results while also increasing the loyalty individuals will have.
A new trend among companies is to offer employees a yearly stipend for professional development, so that they can pay for courses, mentorship, or other materials.
A critical job benefit is anything that contributes to your retirement savings, whether it’s employee-matched contributions to 401(k)s, IRAs, or other retirement vehicles. You need to make sure that you are taking care of your life in the long-run, and that includes making investments right now that will pay off when you are older. Remember, you work to live, not live to work.
Paid Family Leave
Are you planning on growing your family? More and more employers are realizing that employees need some paid time off in order to tend to their expanding family, and to create a stable home. Surveys consistently demonstrate that this is one of the most sought-after benefits that employees seek from their employers. The stronger people’s foundation is at home, the better their health and the stronger their contributions to the team can be.
COVID has really increased the acceptability of work-from-home by forcing its adoption in order for businesses to continue to operate. But even in the winter before COVID hit, SHRM measured that 70% of businesses allowed its employees to have some sort of telecommuting option. Surveys have shown that flexible work locations or hours are the second-most sought-after benefit after paid family leave.
Gaining clarity in your needs and expectations for compensation can help you pinpoint the job you want, as well as make negotiation with a prospective employer far more effective.