What benefits do you really want out of a job?
Have it clear at the outset of your job search what your most important benefits entail
If you’re like most people, you have a certain “dream job” in mind. It’s usually in a field or industry of interest and one in which you have invested you time, in terms of education and experience. But, even if that job becomes available, its benefits might not actually be in tune with what you deem important. Every job has its own perks. As a potential employee, it’s important to know yourself and have a clear idea what you’re looking for when you’re pounding the pavement or negotiating terms.
A recent study by Environics Research Group for Standard Life gives some insight into what employees perceive as important benefits. The study surveyed 600 Canadians working in small to medium-sized businesses and asked them to gauge the importance of several benefits in terms of motivation and retention. No surprise, the employees said that the most important benefit is money. Ninety-seven per cent of them specified competitive salary or wages as a very important benefit of the job. In contrast, the least important benefit was non-financial motivators, which 54 per cent specified as important.
Aside from monetary compensation, 94 per cent of employees indicated a competitive health and life insurance plan as the next most important benefit, followed by a competitive group savings and retirement plan at 92 per cent. The future is important to these employees. Nearly two-thirds said they are very concerned that they will not be able to retire comfortably, while more than half said that their employer doesn’t offer group saving and retirement plans.
Slightly less important was work-life balance. Just over 80 per cent indicated flexible work hours as an important benefit while just three quarters said that extended vacation time is something they looked for.
How about you? Take a step back and evaluate your priorities. Ask yourself questions like “What do I want out of the position?” and “Is this job in sync with what I’m looking for?” Do this early in the application process; otherwise you might end up with a shorter stay at the company than you had hoped. Potential employers like to see consistency on resumés; so don’t put a blemish on your employment history simply because you don’t have your priorities straight when you start your job search.