$3000 is a good chunk of money, nothing to sneeze at but is it enough to choose one job over another? Possibly if everything else in comparable between offers, but over the course of a year, $3000 equates to about $57 a week before taxes, approximately $40 after Uncle Sam. Let’s look beyond the numbers to see what one should consider when comparing offers:
- Benefits: The percentage of health care costs covered by employers will vary. One firm paying 10% more in premium coverage could end up erasing a $3000 salary difference. And though many young graduates may not be thinking of retirement, the amount one firm matches your 401K contribution and how soon the match begins could offset any “gains” from a higher salary.
- Travel. If one job allows you to walk or take public transportation to work versus driving a car, the savings can be huge. Gas, repairs, insurance, parking, tolls, etc. will eat into your wallet.
- Work hours. If you find yourself working longer hours, are you really earning more? Consider if the longer work hours prevent you from cooking at home and instead eating out more often – this can impact your true “take-home” pay.
- Promotion. Will you have the opportunity to advance more quickly at one firm versus another? A lower starting salary could be erased within a couple of years if this is the case.
- Job Satisfaction. Probably #1 on the list of things to consider when evaluating offers. If one will not be satisfied in a job, $3000 is not going to do much to make him/her feel better. Take the position that will challenge and be of interest, take the job where the work environment is a better fit – hopefully it is the higher paying job!
When one looks beyond the dollar sign and evaluates the entire compensation package, the best employment opportunity will make itself apparent. Sometimes after looking at all the details, $3000 may not seem like much after all.