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Choosing your next Job: Look beyond Salary

November 3, 2023

The arrival of fall is often synonymous with professional renewal. Many companies are looking to recruit to meet their annual targets and prepare for the new year, creating a favorable market for candidates. However, this period can be stressful and lead to hasty decisions, especially when it comes to choosing a job offer.

In this issue, we focus on key elements to consider when making a decision about a new job, which are often overlooked. Our advice aims to enrich your approach to new career opportunities and equip you to choose the best place to thrive.

Think beyond salary

Although it is a major criterion in the choice of a job offer, salary should not be the only thing to consider.

Here are a few points to consider for an informed decision:

Career prospects: Find out about opportunities for advancement.

  • Do managers look internally before recruiting externally?
  • What are the company’s short- and medium-term objectives?
  • How do these objectives align with your career aspirations?

Company culture: This aspect should be considered alongside salary. After all, you’ll be spending most of your week there! The company you work for should therefore have a culture that matches your values and needs. A good way to determine a company’s culture is to find out why the current position is opening up.

  • Is it because the previous employee has left?
  • If so, why is he or she leaving?
  • Is it simply a new position opening up?

Generally speaking, a company with a high turnover rate may be a sign that you’re in a stressful environment. Find out your level of tolerance to this type of stress. Are you comfortable with it?

Location and cost of living: The distance between your home and your place of work can affect your quality of life if the job is face-to-face. Does the salary offered justify 2 hours of commuting every day? Sometimes, a slightly lower salary can be compensated for by shorter commuting times and savings on travel expenses.

In short, salary is just one of the many factors that contribute to your professional and personal well-being. Aside from the elements mentioned above, take the time to analyze all the other benefits the employer offers.

Employee benefits

Benefits often take a back seat in hiring negotiations, but they can be an important part of your total compensation package. In addition to salary, these benefits can improve your quality of life and career prospects. Let’s take a look at the different types of benefits you can negotiate in addition to your salary.

Health insurance: Find out about the coverage offered. Some plans go beyond basic medical care to include dental, vision and even alternative therapies, as well as access to telemedicine. It’s also relevant to know to what extent the employer contributes to the cost of this insurance, and whether there is a waiting period before coverage begins.

Other benefits :

  • Telecommuting: The ability to work remotely can reduce your transportation expenses and improve your work-life balance.
  • Paid leave: In addition to annual leave, some employers offer days off for volunteering or “mental health days”.
  • Training programs: A company that invests in your professional development is generally a good sign for your long-term growth.
  • Bonuses and premiums: Some employers offer performance bonuses or seniority bonuses that can be added to your base salary.
  • Retirement savings options: A retirement plan with an employer contribution can make a big difference to your future financial security.

When negotiating your contract, don’t focus on salary alone. Take into account the whole package on offer, including those often underestimated fringe benefits, to make an informed choice that will benefit your career and long-term well-being.

Negotiation and counter-offer

In today’s labor market, where talent is in high demand, negotiation is quite common. A job offer is not an end in itself, but an excellent starting point for discussions that can be mutually beneficial.

Before embarking on a negotiation, do your research. Knowing the average salary for the position in your area gives you an edge. Also, establish your priorities and identify the areas where you are flexible and the others that are absolutely essential to you.

A good opening posture and confident body language can also positively influence the process. If you need a helping hand, recruitment experts like the Kenova team can offer valuable advice and help you evaluate offers.

Once you have an offer, examine it carefully. If it doesn’t meet your expectations, prepare a clear request and be ready to explain. Give the employer a reasonable amount of time to respond, and have a backup plan.

As Carrie Fisher said:

“Everything is negotiable. Whether the negotiation is easy or not is another story.”

You just need to have the right approach and not get defensive. You have the power to define the terms of your future job, so use it wisely and take the time to think things through to maximize your benefits.

Once you have the ideal offer from your future employer and are happy to embark on this ideal opportunity for you according to your important criteria, be ready to announce your resignation.

A new negotiation filled with even more intense emotions is likely to lie ahead, as your employer is unlikely to accept your departure. He’ll do everything in his power to hold you back. You will then experience the reality of the counter-offer, and he who can resist is the fortunate one.

Best wishes to all!

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