By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
When we first accept a job, we are often polarized by the discussion of salary. While this may be a deciding factor on whether you accept a position, there are other things to take into consideration.
According to Northwestern Mutual, salary accounts for only 70 percent of your total compensation. The other 30 percent? Benefits! These come in many shapes and sizes – from unlimited vacation to company retreats. Whether you are currently switching jobs or simply unaware of the perks at your current one, it is important to not neglect the benefits provided.
FREE BREAKROOM COFFEE & SNACKS
Sometimes its the little things that can make a big difference. While many companies stock the breakroom with snacks and coffee, there are companies that still charge employees for that much-needed K-cup in the morning or that bag of chips for a mid-afternoon snack.
Lets say your employer charges 25 cents per cup of coffee. If you're one of those people who has at least one cup a day – and let’s face it, most of us have more – that can add up to $1.25 per week. With around 260 working days per year, that can make your grand total $325 for the whole year. So, as you fill up your coffee cup or grab a handful of pretzels, remind yourself that’s a perk not everyone has!
Companies care about the health of their employees – and if they don’t, they should. The more often you are sick, the less time you spend in the office. While wellness programs vary company to company, most offer some sort of reward for reaching health or fitness goals. Many companies even customize wellness programs for the individual.
For example, if you’re a smoker, your employer may offer needed assistance in helping you quit. Other wellness programs go even more granular, offering small to large bonuses for the little things like getting your flu shot. Whatever your program may be, take a deeper look at the benefits and how it can keep you healthy, it may even mean extra money in the end.
401k programs are often ignored by those just beginning their career. While you may be convinced you can’t afford to take out a percentage of your paycheck to put into retirement, it is essential you fully do your research before neglecting this perk. Perhaps you make certain budget cuts to allow for this as it will pay off in the long run.
Let’s do some math – everyone’s favorite subject! Say your employer offers a 100% match on up to 3% of your income. For every contribution made, your employer will put that exact amount in your account – doubling your savings. Even if your employer just offers a partial match, this can still make a big dent in your long-term savings. If you still need convincing, this 401k calculator can show you just how much you can save.
Many companies these days are placing more and more emphasis on the professional development of their employees. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 54 percent of employers offer undergraduate tuition assistance and 50 percent offer graduate tuition assistance.
Even the companies who may not offer to pay for schooling have some type of professional development program. These could be in the form of online courses, networking events or even day-long conferences. If your employer is willing to give you time during working hours to develop your skills or learning new skills, this may be something to seriously consider!
If you’ve found yourself at a company where it isn’t all about the clocking in and clocking out, consider yourself fortunate. The benefit of flexible hours can easily be taken for granted or often not utilized to its full potential. While we aren’t recommending you abuse this policy, it is okay to not stress out when you occasionally get to work 10 minutes late.
Some companies even have their flexibility set in stone. For example, some employers allow you to extend your working hours Monday through Thursday so you can get every other Friday completely off. If you find yourself struggling to find work-life balance, this type of benefit may just be the perfect solution for you.
Even the most tenured employees often neglect or take for granted the perks their company offers. As you navigate your career, we recommend always looking at the bigger picture and not just the number going into your direct deposits. In the end, these benefits can make a major difference in your overall happiness at work.