When you start a new job — including your first job — salary seems like the most important issue.
Making money is important. We all enjoy eating and most of us like to have a little fun, too. But it’s not just about the salary or the hourly wage. When my now-ex-husband got his first real job after, I was shocked, shocked, at how much easier life became with addition of benefits.
Health insurance is your BFF.
The biggest bonus was health insurance. We’d been paying for private health insurance for a decade, using my earnings as a freelancer to pay for everything. With his employer subsidizing our coverage, our premium was cut in half, and we had a better plan. I swear, one of the biggest disappointments of the divorce was the prospect of going back to being entirely responsible for my own health insurance.
Your employer might be paying as much as 68% of your premium if you have health benefits, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are paying $250 per month for your health benefits, there’s a good chance they cost as much as $368. That’s a savings of $118 a month. It’s like making an extra $1,416 a year.
Paid vacation days are totes amazing.
Get paid even while you aren’t at work? Yes, please! If you can negotiate a package that allows you to take vacation days and still get paid for them, you are doing something right. It might be worth it to accept a little less in terms of salary if you don’t have to worry how you’ll make up the days you missed to attend SXSW.
Even if you don’t get paid vacation days, some companies are willing to offer extra personal days (although you won’t get paid). If you could take extra time off to live life, would you take it even if you aren’t getting paid? I would.