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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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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