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Getting a job offer, whether it’s your first or thirty-first, is definitely exciting – but it’s not quite the time to break out the champagne. You’ve got serious considering to do in order to understand the details of what you’ll put in and, especially, what you’ll get out of it. Be prepared to evaluate any job offer by considering the complete terms, and remembering that, no matter what kind of money is involved, non-financial benefits can make a big difference.

Here are 10 things you should consider as you evaluate a new job offer:

  1. Salary or wages. If you’ve established a monthly or yearly budget for yourself or your family, you should know the minimum compensation you need to make it work. Factor in contributions to long-term savings, emergency savings, and retirement, as well as related costs like commuting (in terms of gas, bus or train fare, and parking), wardrobe or equipment needs, and more.
  2. Professional development. What opportunities will this job offer you to learn, grow, and advance? Is training offered on-the-job, or a regular stipend to take advantage of training opportunities? Is there room to move up in the organization, and is there a clear path for advancement?
  3. Health insurance and wellness benefits. Consider the premium, co-pay, and deductibles you’ll need to pay in light of the pay you’ll take home and the other expenses in your budget. Pay especially close attention if you are presented with multiple options, especially when comparing more traditional plans with high-deductible coverage.
  4. Retirement. Factor together your contributions and employer matches, calculate pre-tax savings, and be sure you understand any vesting schedules involved.
  5. Flexibility. Does the employer offer flexible hours, work-from-home opportunities, or any other kind of scheduling perks? Consider what they would mean to you in terms of your quality-of-life, especially if you have pre-school-aged children at home, older children in need of picking up or dropping off, or aging relatives who can use assistance.
  6. Benefits unique to your employer. Organizations that may not be able to entice you strictly with a high salary may provide attractive ancillary benefits related directly to their own services or products, or those offered by partners. These could be tickets to events or exhibits, retail discounts, travel-related savings, and more.
  7. Commute. Will this job run up additional costs in bus or train fare, gas, or parking? If so, will they offer to subsidize those costs?
  8. Culture. You will be spending a lot of time with your new colleagues, so be sure to consider whether you feel like you’ll fit in. Find out what the dress code is, and consider whether it will require you to invest in new clothes.
  9. Travel. Will this job require you to travel? How often? Will it take away from valuable family time, or simply leave you too exhausted to enjoy your downtime?
  10. Paid time off. Find out up-front about time-off policies for vacations, personal or sick days, and family leave. Ask pointed questions: “Are there any vacation blackout dates?” “What happens if I need to take extended personal leave?”

Whatever you discover, it is important to get it all in writing. A handshake deal made for remote work and an annual performance bonus with this boss may not be honored if he or she leaves the organization – or simply turns out to be less than trustworthy. Another way to discover the unstated perks (and drawbacks) of a particular employer: Ask the people who already work there, especially those you’ll be working with (as opposed to beneath).

Adapted from this article on


On what to look for in a benefit package
Which employee benefits are worth getting excited about? (Monster)
Employee benefits questions you need to ask before you enroll (Human Interest)

The content on provides general information and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information; do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here; and take no liability for your use of this information.

© Georgia Center for Nonprofits 2019

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