Skill development. Flexible hours. Challenging work.
What’s important to you in a job? In today’s market, you can receive many indirect benefits from a job in addition to compensation. Companies are concentrating on their “soft” benefits to attract and retain good workers. As a result, you have more options to consider as you evaluate jobs and employers during your job search.
Indirect benefits can come in all forms. Many involve helping employees achieve work-life balance, especially as companies ask employees to work longer hours during tough economic times. In a recent survey by the Corporate Executive Board, more than 60% of employees polled identified flexible schedules as the most important work-life practice their employer could provide.
Some companies offer onsite fitness centers, child care and cafeterias. Others contract with consulting firms that help employees navigate the admissions and financial aid process for their college-age children. All of these services can save you time and money, and assist in integrating family and health priorities into a busy workday.
Companies build competitive advantage by keeping their workforce sharp, and that leads to training and development opportunities for employees. Some companies have formalized ongoing education programs, or corporate universities. Others focus on creating career paths for individuals, assisting employees in charting their next career steps and in developing the aptitude and experience they need to move forward. These opportunities to improve your skills and increase your knowledge can help you stay marketable.
Work Experience Intangibles
Are you a Baby Boomer interested in more job responsibility? Or a Gen Xer who wants opportunities to work independently? Or perhaps a Gen Y looking to make a difference through your work? Companies have realized the connection between a satisfying work experience and employees’ productivity and loyalty. Some are striving to make sure these intangibles are part of the work experience. Others have tuned into the intangibles that are attractive to each generation in the workforce. A company’s work experience can go a long way toward your satisfaction at work, so evaluate it carefully.
The bottom line? You, the job candidate, are in the driver’s seat. Work can be so much more than a paycheck these days, so consider what an employer can offer you beyond compensation.