You get a wage, yet that is not all. What are the real values of your job? Or any job offer?
The hourly or salary numbers of the job.
This is a guarantee of value. Out of virtually all other values, this is the most fundamental because it is not a hypothetical. You will be paid this by law, otherwise the law is broken.
Additionally for hourly, though a person could expect HOURLY RATE x 40 HOURS, that may not be the case. Adjust accordingly, in that it may be 35 hours instead, or there is overtime pay on the regular – talk with your coworkers about these expectations.
AKA Options. This is flexible value in an employer offers at a discount or pre-set rate.
For many in, say, the tech industry, this is the bread-and-butter of employment, the real value of their compensation. For pennies on the dollar, you can gain stock then sell it at a steep profit.
Be warned: Stock is fickle in that it can fall nearly as easily as it can rise (at least in recent years). What you may have banked as the cornerstone of your finances can become so much bitter ash.
Sick days, vacation days, holidays. Each day is worth about .4% of Base Salary (1 8-hour day in 2000 annual working hours).
Not something to sniff at. These values can add a significant proportion to the overall value to a job, but be careful if anything is “unlimited” – these days have no value if not taken or are allowed to be taken (these instead have negative value as a lie from the employer).
Talking about the big one here – 401K matching. The employer will match dollar-for-dollar a 401K contribution.
Free money here. A very important value, though it is not offered everywhere and only works if you are able to. Keep an eye out on this!
Annual performance, sales, commission – these can be substantial, or trivial. They can happen often, once a year, or not at all.
Whatever bonus gets offered (if any), take note and negotiate on this too!
Largely subjective, include any other items you feel might be of value to you in your work. This bucket is mainly for values of a few hundred dollars, but could be worth a lot more.
- Commute Time (less is more! 0 is best)
- Special Health Insurance Benefits (specifically of benefit to your upcoming year or lifestyle; you ought be getting basic health insurance regardless!)
- Gym Memberships
- et al.
As with everything, a lot of these offerings only have value if you reap the value from them. If not using anything of benefit, it has no value to you and should not be included in the value of the job.
You can’t even choke on experience, so it is of virtually no value here.
Can you gain training, networking, and exposure while on another’s dime? Sure, yet there still needs to be that “dime.”
Are some employers worth it? Perhaps. Big names, such as Google, Facebook, or Apple are all great names in virtually any field, while some banks or law firms would be great in their fields. Yet these employers are tiny compared to the vast swath of the broad market, where you are likely to be employed.
Experience is nice, but again, it cannot feed you.
Putting It All Together
Job Value = Base Pay + Stock* + Time Off + Matches + Bonus + Misc.**
*Stock is the number of shares given in a year multiplied by (market right now – rate given in the offering).
** Money is time – the more money you keep, the more time you will be giving your future self, so do not discount time savings as being worth a lot!
This will give you a dollar amount, the real value from the real values of your job.