5 Benefits to Look for in Your Next Employer

By Miranda Marquit

Are you looking for a new job? Or maybe even your first job?

When you are starting with a new employer, it can provide you with a chance to start fresh, earn more money, and do something you enjoy.

As you look for your next job, don’t forget to ask about the benefits. If you’re moving forward, here are some benefits to look for as you evaluate your next job offer:

1. Health Insurance

One of the biggest expenses you are likely to experience in life is paying for health care. Health insurance is one of the most valuable benefits offered by employers. Having your employer pay for a portion of your insurance premium can help make your health insurance more affordable. Find out if the plans offered provide you with adequate coverage that you can afford. That way, you don’t end up in a situation where you can’t have your health needs taken care of.

2. Retirement Plan

Can you use a tax-advantaged retirement plan to grow your wealth over time? One of the best benefits to look for in a new employer is a retirement plan. It’s a good way for you to get started and it allows you to have a portion of your paycheck go automatically toward your future.

An even better situation is if the employer offers you a matching contribution. Getting free money to go toward your future wealth? It’s one of the best ways to invest. You get a tax benefit and you can build wealth.

If your new employer doesn’t offer a retirement plan, you can (and should) open an IRA on your own.

3. Student Loan Repayment Assistance

Some employers now offer a benefit to help you pay down your student loans. This can help you reduce your debt over time and save money in the long run. Unfortunately, there aren’t laws that provide employers with tax benefits for providing student loan repayment assistance in the same way they receive tax benefits from health insurance and retirement plans. However, if more employers start pushing this benefit, we might see a change to the law.

Consider asking your employer about this benefit if you are interested. You might be able to get it instituted at your company.

4. Flexible Paid Time Off

Paid time off is a great benefit. It’s one of the benefits to look for as you get a new job. Flexible paid time is even better. This is time off that is offered regardless of whether or not it’s “sick” time or “personal” time.

Even if the time off isn’t flexible, having paid time off is still one of the best benefits. It allows you to continue receiving pay even while you are on vacation.

Not every job will come with paid time off, though. At the very least, check the benefits package for unpaid personal leave.

5. Wellness Program

Don’t underestimate the value of a wellness program. It’s one of the benefits to look for as you evaluate a job offer. A good wellness program helps you live better and can save you money over time. Many companies are adding wellness programs because they can save them money overall, as well as increase workplace productivity.

Check to see what types of wellness programs are available, from physical programs to financial programs. You might be surprised at how much a wellness program can enhance your life and your work.

What if There Aren’t Benefits?

Just because a job doesn’t offer benefits doesn’t mean it’s a terrible idea. In fact, if you can get a job that you find fulfilling, you might not care about the benefits as much. However, you might be missing out on financial advantages as well as wellness benefits.

As you look into your next job, it’s a good idea to consider the entire compensation package. In fact, some benefits are valuable enough to make up for a slightly lower salary.

Before you look for a job, think about the benefits that matter most to you. Figure out how the benefits fit in with the payment situation. Considering the entire compensation package is an important part of making a good decision about the right job for you. And if the company doesn’t have the benefits you want, it doesn’t hurt to talk to HR and see if a new program can be added.