When seeking a new professional opportunity, there are many considerations to keep in mind. From job flexibility to company culture, you’ll want to weigh your options before you commit. However, arguably one of the most important factors to consider is money.
8 Financial Questions You Must Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer
So, before you say yes to the salary, consider these eight financial questions first.
1. What does my total compensation look like?
Increasing your base salary is great but remember that this is just one part of your compensation package. Retirement contribution and matching, paid time off, bonuses, and insurance should all be considered – and if applicable, negotiated – before signing the dotted line. You’ll also want to ask the organization if they offer additional perks like wellness plans or reimbursement for relocation costs.
2. Is my base salary competitive?
Companies often base their salary offers on what their competitors are paying their employees. Do research on salary ranges in your area by searching online. By doing so, you’ll have a better idea of what others in your field are making near you and your potential worth.
3. What will my work hours look like each week?
Not every office job is a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Before you accept your next role, ask your potential employer about expectations for regular working hours. You’ll also want to come to an understanding of how much after-hours work is considered normal. If the job offer results in a change of hours (such as a weekend schedule or being on-call), make a list of how this will impact your current routine and weigh whether this change will be a major disruption to your other priorities.
4. How will taxes affect my bottom line?
One of the most forgotten factors to consider before accepting a new role is taxes. Depending upon where you’ll work and the type of employment, you may see an increase bill to the government every paycheck. For instance, say you currently live and work in a state with no state income tax. The job offer you received is in a different state where the income tax rate is 6%. If you’re currently making $75,000 a year, that will be an additional $4,500 in taxes.
Your payroll taxes may change too whether you’re labeled as a wage-earning employee or a self-employed contractor. Payroll taxes on workers’ wages include an automatic percentage for Social Security and Medicare. If you’re a wage-earning worker, your employer will pay a percentage these payroll taxes. However, if you’re a contractor, you’ll be required to pay the full amount out of pocket. Now, there are certain tax benefits to being self-employed – like the ability to itemize expenses, so it’s important to weigh all potential options.
5. Will the new role offer time flexibility?
Life can be unpredictable, and sometimes unexpected emergencies pop up during business hours. Over the past few years, organizations are becoming increasingly more understanding when unplanned items pop up, but some job roles remain rigid. Be sure to ask questions for your future employer about their workplace flexibility, particularly how and when works get done.
6. Will I have educational opportunities to improve my skills?
The pace of change across all industries and sectors is accelerating thanks to emerging technologies. As these changes impact the ways of work, the skill sets you’ll need to succeed will evolve. When considering a new organization, you’ll want to know if they’ll support and encourage your growth, including access to additional education. Ask about whether the organization will provide stipends for continuing education programs or access to online learning websites.
7. How will my cost of living change?
Relocating for a new job may come with a price besides the cost of the move itself. In addition to the previously mentioned tax considerations, the cost of living in a new location may increase or decrease the real value of your compensation package. Everything from the cost of utilities and insurance to food and entertainment can vary greatly across the country. The cost of transportation can be a big factor as well—the cost of car insurance and gas prices may be more or less expensive in another part of the country.
8. Is the organization financially secure?
Before saying yes, it is critical for you to do research on your potential employer before making anything official. You’ll want to seek out answers to questions like do they have a track record of layoffs and cutbacks? Are they making headlines for the wrong reasons? Are many former employees leaving poor reviews online that might raise red flags? If any of these questions bring you more anxiety than excitement, it might be necessary to decline the offer for another organization that can bring you greater financial security.
Find a Job that Brings Joy
Although answering these financial questions will help bring greater clarity to whether you should accept a job offer, your decision shouldn’t just be financially oriented. There are many reasons to move from one job to another. Maybe the new job is in a location where you want to live, or it provides an enormous opportunity for growth. Or maybe it’s in an industry that you find to be rewarding. In the end, when deciding on a job offer, it’s important to find a role that will bring you enjoyment.