3 Perks every recent graduate should be looking for in a new job
Searching for your first job out of college can be a trying and stressful time. Not only do you have to get through the interview process and beat out hundreds of other people in the same position as you, but you’ll also need to figure out whether a given salary is enough to sustain your lifestyle, but don’t just look at the wage offered when you get a job offer. There is more to an employment package than the salary. Look for a company that provides these three job perks before you sign an agreement. Your budget and long-term financial wellness will thank you.
Saving for retirement may seem like it should be years and years off, but because many companies are forgoing pension plans, a 401k and a retirement plan is a necessity the second you land your first real career-oriented job. Look for employers that match 401k contributions dollar-for-dollar up to a percentage of your salary.
If you land a job that offers a 401k match, it is a smart idea to max out your contribution. By maxing your contribution, you’ll also max out the amount that your employer is willing to contribute to the plan, as well. In the long-term, this type of policy can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Even if you don’t plan to stay with one employer for the rest of your career, you can roll over your 401k as you move across different companies. A 401k match from early on in your career can set you up for a financially-secure retirement.
According to a recent study the average commuter spends $2,600 a year just getting to work. For those who drive daily, whether that is simply to work or off-site locations for your job, it is a good idea to look for a company that offers commuter reimbursement.
If you are working in an area that requires a lot of driving, you can ask your company if they are willing to offer reimbursement for mileage, gas, tolls, or parking. For city-dwellers who will be using public transportation to commute to and from the job site, it is worthwhile to look for a company that offers free train or bus passes for their employees. Some employers even provide company-funded Uber, or Lyft accounts for employees who are traveling to and from work and work events late at night.
Health and Wellness Programs
Look for companies that offer wellness programs that encourage and support healthy habits. Some companies offer perks that range from paying for smoking cessation aids and weight loss programs to fully-paid gym memberships. If you were to pay for these items out of pocket, you could spend over $1,000 per year. By working for a company that supports and encourages healthy habits, you can take steps to improve your health without putting a strain on your monthly or yearly budget.
Job perks are just as important as the salary that your employer is offering you. Companies that provide unique job perks are on the rise as the millennial workforce gets larger. If you are seeking your first job out of college, or you are currently job hunting for the 50th time, pay attention to the job perks offered, they may be more valuable than your salary.