Keep the following perks in mind while you scan the job boards. A better life could be around the corner.
Job hunting is tough in a depleted market. If you have the luxury of searching while still employed, you can afford to give your options the weight they deserve. Many careers offer more than a paycheck. In fact, a generous benefits package can add thousands of dollars in value to an already stellar position. Keep the following perks in mind while you scan the job boards. A better life could be around the corner.
- 401(k) matching. Saving for retirement should be at the top of your priority list. Working for an employer who values your goals is imperative, especially when it comes to savings. If you invest in a 401(k), find an employer who offers to match a portion of your contributions. Larger companies generally provide up to 4 percent in company contributions for their employees, equaling free money for a well-funded portfolio.
- Childcare. According to Babycenter.com, the average household spends $11,666 a year on childcare. Find a boss who understands the challenges of family costs. Look for a company who provides on-site daycare services at a discounted rate. You’ll save on monthly expenses and travel time. As a bonus, you’ll be able to check in on your kids throughout the day. It’s a win-win.
- Flexible spending. The burden of everyday expenses can add up fast. Commuting, medical bills, and daycare costs are among the inevitable bottom line. Your boss can help you temper the sting of these expenses by offering a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Approved by Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code, FSAs allow employees to set aside a portion of their income for qualifying expenses such as medical copays, gasoline, bus or train fare, babysitting services, etc. Money deposited into the FSA account is exempt from payroll tax, allowing you to save more on unavoidable expenses. Search for a job that allows you to stretch your dollar further. Why spend more when you can save?
- Paid medical leave. By law, employers are required to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. Unfortunately, most people cannot afford to sacrifice three months’ pay, regardless of the reason. Search for a job that provides flexibility in this area. Many companies offer partial pay for short and long-term disability, as well as maternity and paternity leave. What good is guaranteed leave if you can’t pay the bills?
Work-from-home options. Telecommuting is a growing trend in today’s workforce. According to Telework Research Network, an estimated 34 million Americans spent a portion of their workweek at home in 2011. A virtual office can save you thousands of dollars each year, reducing your commuting budget, the wear and tear on your vehicle, or saving you valuable hours of public transportation. Time saved equals more options when it comes to taking on a second job, cutting back on daycare costs, and generally spending more time with family. Companies stand to gain from the arrangement as well. A virtual workforce means less in overhead expenses such as office space, utilities, and supplies. Find a company who moves with the times. Build some trust and broach the subject of partial or full-time telecommuting. Who says productivity can’t be convenient?
This guest post was provided by Lexington Law, a credit repair firm that helps clients to better understand issues related to credit reports and scores.