For most of us, choosing a long-term career isn’t an easy task. It’s hard to decide on what you want to do for the rest of your life, especially when the outcome is not guaranteed. You may even find that you start out on a career path that was chosen for you by influence – such is often the case when parents push their kids in a certain direction or when guidance counselors make the wrong suggestions. Sometimes, and unfortunately, people fall into careers that they never intended to pursue because they were never too bold to make a move. So, it’s safe to say that a lot of pressure can come with choosing a career. And while you can get all the career advice you desire, you may still struggle to make a decision. In addition, most new professionals are not properly guided in defining the benefits they want from a job.
When you think about your dream career, what comes to mind? For some, it will be the work itself. For others, it will be the pay. But then there’s also the lifestyle, the people, the difference you might make, and then we have the benefits too. To help you clear the career fog, let’s look at some of the benefits you might want to prioritize.
First, the income. Naturally, this is the first component that most people will prioritize. And so, most individuals look at their current situation, job, location, responsibilities, average regional salaries and then decide how much they’re worth. Websites such as Glassdoor.com and LinkedIn are great resources to establish the ‘number’. However, simply knowing how much you’re worth is not enough; you must claim it through negotiation.
Here is one of the best videos on negotiating your salary.
With pay, comes potential bonuses. In some industries, generally sales, there are options to earn additional remuneration though a bonus program. That is a great source of extra income and if you are the competitive type, you will fit well in that environment, and succeed.
A huge selling point of many careers is the vacation time allowed. Do you want to be able to have a set number of weeks off each year? Would you like to know that you can take a break when you’d like to? If so, you’ll want to think about your ideal amount of days or weeks, and then aim to negotiate this when you have a job offer.
One of the biggest benefits that many of us will look for in an employment package is healthcare. We all know that healthcare can be incredibly expensive. And if you need to take out an insurance plan for yourself, or your entire family, it can be very costly. And so, working for a company with great healthcare benefits can be a huge plus. If this is important to you, be sure to be picky.
Another huge selling point is a great retirement package. If you know that you’d like to retire at a set age and enjoy post-work life, it is important to research the retirement benefits carefully. Military veterans particularly can benefit from – in some lucky cases – good retirement plans. When you think how many WW2 veterans are still alive and working, the thought of them not being covered is sickening.
Finally, you may also want to make sure that you’re happy with the job that you’re doing. It’s so important to know that you’re going to get the recognition you desire for the job that you do – especially if you’re making beneficial changes. Or, on the flipside, if you’re helping others, maybe that’s all he recognition you need – to know that you’re making a difference! Either way, you’ll want to feel rewarded for what you’re doing, so keep this in mind as you’re making career choices.