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How to Determine the Best Job Offer

It might seem that sorting through several solid job offers would be a dream scenario. After all, you spent time perfecting your resume and cover letter and fighting through the interview process to get the offer, right?

Wrong. The job process isn’t necessarily about getting all the offers you can. It’s about getting one good offer from a company that truly suits your complex career goals.

Your needs are more elaborate than a salary and a good title. The best offer will take into account both of these things as well as benefits, how you’ll spend your time daily and your opportunities for building your network and meeting motivated people.

Here’s a checklist you can use to evaluate your job offers and determine whether or not the best offer really is the best for you:

Salary: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Is more money better? Not always. Many studies show that $75,000 is the salary cap at which money no longer significantly impacts your day-to-day happiness. Unless money truly is a personal motivator for you, don’t judge the best offer by salary alone.

Beyond comparing one number to another, salary can also be an opportunity to understand the difference between job offers. For example, if you receive two similarly-titled job offers and one offers $52,000 and the other offers $72,000, you’ll want to understand why the salary is so different. Is it the location? The responsibilities? The company? Each answer can provide a clue as to which offer is truly the best for you.

Benefits

Much like a salary, a bigger benefits package isn’t always better because it may be full of value that you don’t intend to use. Often a company’s salary package reflects benefits, so if you don’t use them you are essentially missing out on compensation.

Take a minute to decode your lifestyle and your needs for the near future. Do you plan to buy a house or adopt a child? Do you need coverage for your spouse, or are you a single, healthy person in search of a low monthly premium? Understanding how the benefits that come with a job offer will play out in your life (not just their face value) will help you decide which offer will benefit you the most.

What Does Your Daily Job Description Look Like?

The most important factor in assessing the fit of a new job is what your day-to-day function will be. Job titles can vary, with a Project Manager in one company functioning more like an assistant team lead and a Project Manager in another company functioning more like a manager. The best way to understand the reality of the offer in your hand is to talk to someone at the company who has that role. The second best way is to carefully compare the actual job description of each offer side-by-side.

Beyond your time on the job, you should also consider how this position might affect your personal life. Are you going from a passive role to an active one, in which you might be significantly more drained by the end of the day? Or are you swapping out an overwhelming “work-til-you-drop” environment for a more laid back (but lower paying) vibe? How you want to feel in your daily life will be a huge indicator of which job offer is the best for you.

Will You Be Building a Valuable Network?

Working with people you like and care about is a significant source of job satisfaction. You don’t have to be best friends, but camaraderie and a sense of a shared goal (and a few inside jokes) can go a long way to making your workday fly by. Furthermore, part of the value of your job is to create relationships with people with similar goals, interests and views of the world. Where you work will be a powerful source of networking and professional contacts.

When you consider a job offer, try your best to get a feel for the culture of the workplace and the people who work there. Do you have any shared interests or demographic information in common? Will you be interested in helping and receiving help from these people? Differences can have a positive impact on overall company performance, but shared experiences and communication are what help companies achieve those results.

Sometimes the best job offer really is the best… and sometimes an opportunity is hiding behind a lackluster title or brand name. When you’re considering several job offers, make sure you look at all the facts before deciding which is truly the best for you.

Source: SimplyHired

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5 Habits That Can Turn Interviewers Against You

Having spent the last decade recruiting, I’ve had many a conversation with hiring managers after a candidate exits the interview. And, while I always hope for exceptional feedback, sometimes the news is not so glowing.

Sometimes, the candidate has done something so annoying to the interviewer that, at best, she is now questioning her interest in keeping this person in the running.

What are the things that drive interviewers the most crazy? Listen and learn.

1. You arrive super early

Everybody knows that you’re an idiot if you show up late for an interview. It’s completely disrespectful of the interviewer’s time.

But showing up insanely early is also going to make you look like a jerk. Why? Because, when you arrive more than five or 10 minutes before your meeting, you’re putting immediate pressure on the interviewer to drop whatever she may be wrapping up and deal with you. Or, she’s going to start the interview feeling guilty because she knows she just left you sitting in the lobby for 20 minutes.

A secondary problem with showing up early is that it says, “Hi, I have absolutely nothing else going on in my life, so I’ll just park it here in your company lobby.” You don’t want that. If you arrive super early, hang in the parking lot or a nearby coffee shop until just a few minutes before your scheduled time.

2. You’re so over-rehearsed that you act like a robot

Once again, we all know not to show up to an interview completely unprepared.

Fewer of us, however, realize that it’s entirely possible to arrive over-prepared. Are you someone who thinks through every possible question that you suspect might be asked, writes out verbatim “best answers,” and then practices them in the mirror (or with a friend) until you’re beyond exhausted?

You might think you’re doing yourself a solid, but what you’re actually doing is putting yourself at risk for coming across as robotic or, worse, disinterested.

When you’re hyper-prepared and hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for certain questions for which you’ve prepared to be asked, you will likely have a very hard time engaging in genuine conversation with the interviewer.

And interviewers don’t tend to hire detached people who can’t seem to have a genuine conversation. Certainly walk in prepared, but force yourself to not memorize or over-rehearse the practice questions.

3. You head into the TMI zone

Is your underwear riding up your rear end as you sit in that interview? Did you totally run a red light (and nearly sideswipe a school bus) so that you could be on time? Did your husband lose $15,000 at a craps table in Vegas last weekend? How interesting — yet all completely off-limits conversation topics while you’re in the interview.

Even if you’re interviewing for a role within the most free-wheeling, fun-loving organization, the fact remains that you are in an interview. Never, ever get wooed into believing that the casual nature of the environment frees you to enter the TMI zone.

Be friendly and conversational, for sure. You want this crew to feel that you’ll fit in around the joint. Just never, and I mean do not ever, cross the line into TMI. When in doubt, leave it out.

4. You’re a clear and obvious WIIFM

Guess what interviewers want to know when they meet with you? First and foremost, they want to know what you can do for them. What can you do to make that company money, improve businesses processes, grow the organization and, importantly, make their lives easier?

That said, when you bust out with an immediate litany of WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) questions, you look both arrogant and, frankly, unappealing.

Of course you want to know what the benefits are, how much vacation you get, and if you get a cell phone, company car, and corner office. But in the early interview stages, all the hiring managers and HR people really care about is what you can do for them. This is a business they are running, not a club.

Making you happy will be important if they want you, but you’re not even going to get to that stage if you make your list of demands clear too early.

5. You don’t say “thank you”

I’m not just talking about the after-interview thank you note here. Surely, sending an immediate thank you out to each person with whom you’ve met is critical. But it’s also super important to thank the interviewer enthusiastically before you even part ways.

Certainly, it can be stressful and exhausting to shuttle through hours of interviewing at a company, to the point it all starts feeling like a bit of a blur. But if you really want this job, you need to stay focused and energized, and you absolutely must end strong. A strong, genuine, “Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me — it was great to meet you” will go a long way. “Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me — it was great to meet you” will go a long way.

Interviewing can be among the most stressful things we do as adults, especially when we need the job badly. It’s definitely never a breeze. But keeping a cool head, arriving prepared to engage in conversation, and staying focused on the value you can bring to that organization is going to help you make it through with flying colors. People hire people, not robots, not jerks, and not people who don’t value their time.

Keep this top of mind as you march forth and conquer.

Source: Mashable

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This Year’s Best Employers Have Focused on Fairness

Gender and income equality are a top priority for this year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Like to work for a company that gives every employee a bonus of $100,000? Or one that takes all employees and their guests for a weeklong trip to a Mexican resort, complete with performances by LL Cool J and Sublime? Or one that caps its top executive salary at 19 times that of the average annual wage—when CEOs at the largest U.S. firms average more than 300 times the pay of their workers?

Welcome to the 19th annual installment of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. As you read through this list, you’ll find companies with remarkable perks. But eye-popping perks are only the tip of the iceberg. What really makes a workplace a great place to work are the people practices that forge trust across the enterprise. That’s the kind of thing that doesn’t show up on company benefits lists. We select the firms on our list primarily based on the results of what employees tell us anonymously about their workplace culture.

This year we were struck by the prevalence of egalitarian practices at all 100 companies. Take Hilcorp, the Houston-based oil and gas company that doled out $100,000 bonus checks after it met some daunting five-year financial goals. In December the company’s president, Greg Lalicker, defended spreading the wealth as crucial to the company’s success: “In order to create better alignment across all employees, our bonus structure treats everyone equally. We have a culture that we are all in this together.”

The big bonus checks at Hilcorp stand out because of the dollar amount, but the inclusive attitude expressed is what we see at many, if not most, companies on this list. Nationwide, the $36 billion mutual insurance and financial services giant, raised the minimum wage of its call-center workers to $15 an hour from $10.50. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff made good on his commitment to gender equity by reviewing the salaries of every Salesforce CRM -0.10% employee and earmarking $3 million to shore up the paychecks of underpaid women. And according to the National Center for Employee Ownership, employees of six of the 100 Best Companies own all or a majority of the shares of their firms: Burns & McDonnell, PCL Construction, Publix Super Markets, Robert W. Baird, W.L. Gore, and TDIndustries.

As we compared the results from this year’s Great Place to Work Trust Index employee survey with those of our 1998 list, we saw that measures related to fairness showed the biggest improvements: The number of employees who said yes when asked if they felt they were “paid fairly for the work they do” jumped 13%; there was a 17% increase, likewise, in employees who believe they are “treated as a full member here regardless of my position”; and a 26% bump in those feeling that they have an equal “opportunity to get special recognition.”

Perhaps the 100 Best Companies have something to add to the national debate about fairness and economic equity that has become such a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail. After all, corporate America’s leadership has been ahead of much of the rest of society before on such issues as recycling and diversity. Many corporations also offered domestic-partner benefits years before courts and legislatures took action.

In fact, many leaders at the 100 Best Companies see promoting fairness as part of a social mission. Salesforce executive vice president Cindy Robbins explained its gender equity initiative in these terms: “At Salesforce we believe that businesses can be great platforms for change. Making the world a better place for everyone and being financially successful are not mutually exclusive endeavors.”

Or consider John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods WFM 1.52% , who capped his own salary at 19 times that of the average company worker. He insists that many companies today embrace a more egalitarian attitude toward workers as part of an expansive vision of business aims. These companies, Mackey says, “are keenly aware that they have a higher purpose that goes beyond making money, and they take proactive measures to respect all their stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, communities, suppliers, and the environment.”

Looking beyond Mackey, we were curious whether other CEOs of the 100 Best Companies were more restrained than their peers in terms of compensation. So we asked Equilar, a firm that specializes in executive compensation research, to run the numbers. It compared CEO pay at the 37 publicly traded companies on this year’s list with CEO pay among the S&P 500. Equilar found that the median CEO pay at publicly traded 100 Best Companies was about 19% less than at the S&P 500 ($8.3 million vs. $10.3 million).

Obviously, reducing CEO pay by 19% will not solve income inequality. But you may find it worthwhile to look at all the ways these exemplary companies create more equitable workplace cultures within an increasingly unequal society. Maybe some of the practices you read about here can be part of the solution.

Source: Fortune

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