Job Offer Evaluation – Salary

When one receives an offer of employment, the natural inclination is to say yes.  Over the next few days, I will offer some thoughts as to some items to consider when evaluating an offer.

Item #1: Salary 

I begin the job offer evaluation series with the number one item most of use when evaluating an offer of employment, the salary.  When evaluating an offer, it is important to ensure you are being paid fairly AND that it is a salary in which you can live within.

The latter question is only one you can answer yourself depending upon your lifestyle, but the fairness question can be researched.  Sites such as and offer salary ranges that one can reasonably expect for a particular job description, location, years of experience, etc.  Also, contacting professionals in your field who can share a reasonable range of a salary one could expect with your level of experience is often helpful as well.

Recently I worked with an alum who was fortunate to receive two offers of employment, one job paid $3,000 more than the other.  $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.

Tomorrow we will consider some other items to consider when evaluating an offer of employment.


About Kevin Monahan

I have 10+ years experience in coaching clients in their career management and career change efforts. Personal career consulting services combined with employer outreach to help find opportunities for both constituents.
This entry was posted in Career Management, Job Offer, Offer Evaluation and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Job Offer Evaluation – Salary

  1. Excellent advice. Where was this when I was accepting my first jobs?! Well done.

  2. Pingback: Job Offer Evaluation – The Role | Kevin Monahan – Career Seeker's Guide

  3. Pingback: Job Offer Evaluation – Success | Kevin Monahan – Career Seeker's Guide

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