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Marc A. Hebert's Money Sense: What to look for when evaluating a job offer

By MARC A. HEBERT
October 27. 2018 6:32PM




Congratulations! You have a job offer.

However, you are not done with your job search yet. You need to evaluate the offer to be sure it is right for you.

Consider these factors:

The item that people think about most is the salary. Perhaps you have an offer, but the amount might be for less than what you thought you would receive. Don't rush to dismiss the offer yet - find out how often you can expect a performance review. Does the company provide regular pay increases? Research the salary and compare it with the averages of others in the same job.

Besides the salary, the company may give bonuses or pay commissions. It is important to view how the company pays out compensation and how often employees reach their targets. All of these items increase total income.

You should also consider the other benefits the company offers. How much does the employee contribute for these? Among the benefits to consider are vacation, sickness allowance, tuition reimbursement, insurance, pensions, profit sharing, company car, cellphone, computer, stock, Health Savings Account contributions, gym membership, telecommuting, day care, travel costs and sabbaticals. A good benefits package can add thousands of dollars to your base pay.

As part of your interview preparation, you probably evaluated the company's goals and values. Your job research could have included research on the company via social media. You might have spoken to someone who already works there. For public companies, the most recent annual report could be available on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website (www.SEC.gov). Look at the company's financials. Does the business appear stable and does it have good future prospects? These details could give you a clue as to the opportunities that exist within the company. Perhaps this job may not offer all that you had wanted, but it could still provide the potential for career growth.

As most of us spend a great deal of time at work, it pays to consider a job's impact on your personal life. Will there be extensive overtime that interferes with your family life? Perhaps if you have children, you might need a flexible schedule. Does this company offer that? Will more daycare be required due to longer hours? Does the job require travel? How often?

Costs related to the job are often overlooked. Is the drive further than the distance you were driving previously? Do you need a new wardrobe to meet the company's dress code?

If you take this job, will you have to move? If so, you will need to consider the costs of moving and the costs of being in a new location. For example, will the property and state income taxes be higher?

Once you have considered all aspects of the job, the next step is to make the decision. Review all of the information you have gathered and the offer you have received. Think about how the process made you feel. Would you be happy working there?

If you really want the job, but just can't get past something unfavorable, decide if you want to negotiate with the company. It could prove fruitful and is often a better choice than simply walking away.

If you do receive a counteroffer, take the time to think about it. Ask the company if you can have a few days to review the offer. It is a big step and one best considered carefully. During this process you have to be realistic. It might not be a perfect job offer, but it could allow you to progress in your career. Most of the time, there are going to be trade-offs.

Once you accept the offer, enjoy your new working life!

Marc A. Hebert, MS, CFP, is a senior member and president of the wealth management and financial planning firm The Harbor Group of Bedford. Email questions to Marc at mhebert@harborgroup.com. Your question and his response might appear in a future column.


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