How do I evaluate a job offer?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,527
    Career counselor Karen Chopra discusses how to evaluate a job offer.

    Host: How do I evaluate a job offer?

    Karen James Chopra: You want to sit down and take apart all the elements of it. The biggest part of it of course is going to be the salary, but you also want to are you eligible for bonus? How big is the bonus? Up to what percentage of your salary can you get as a bonus? You want to look at what the health benefits are. This one is particularly tricky because health benefits vary dramatically from company to company. So you want to know what you are expected to pay and what they are going to cover. For example, some clients will discover that they are leaving an organization that provides family coverage and they are moving to an organization that only covers the individual who is working. The difference to know, buying health insurance for the rest of the family can run into the tens, thousands of dollars and so a job offer that initially looks like it's more money but has very different health benefits or other benefits in them, can actually end up being less advantageous to the employee when you actually look at it. So take a look at what the health benefits are, take a look at, do they offer a 401K or other profit sharing plans, when do you start participating in that? Do they offer matching? Because that's essentially free money that they are going to be giving you if they are matching you on your 401K. Do they offer things like blackberries? Do they offer things like telecommuting? Do they offer things like Metro Fare cards or commuting subsidies? Do they offer tuition benefits? These are all the types of things you want to look at.

    You are also going to look at how much leave they give you. How much sick leave do they give you? How much annual leave do you get? Do they give personal days? What are the requirements for accruing those and what are the requirement for using those? If you are working for a company that currently gives you four weeks of leave and your new company is only going to give you two weeks of leave, you have essentially lost two weeks of pay right there and you need to factor that into how much the new company is paying you before you can determine whether this package is really equitable.

    So those are all the things to sort of walk through and think about, when you evaluate how well you last job compensated you and how differently and how well this job is going to compensate you.