When we think “job”, sometimes we are shortsighted and only look at what we are getting, meaning, the base salary of what we are planning on earning:
What we sometimes miss completely on is all of the rest. Here are just some of the ones I thought of, off the top of my head.
In Canada we have universal healthcare which covers things like:
- Pregnancies, Births, C-Sections included, Hospital Stays
- Chemotherapy, radiation, and so on
- Any sort of necessary surgery like cataracts, knees, hips
- Specialists visits
- X-rays, scans
- IVF (3 rounds at a hospital)
Anything they consider “basic” and “essential”.
But not things like:
- Dental care unless you’re under 18 or with special needs
- Eye care unless you’re under 18 or with special needs
- 100% of the drugs you buy – it’s a subsidized plan but you have to pay something
- Massages or extra therapies that are non-essential
Dental & Eye care benefits
As a result, many companies have generous dental, eye care and medical plans to entice Canadian employees to work for them. My boss had 4 kids, and all 4 of them got braces for free (no Invisalign), under the company plan, which is a significant amount of money, as an example. Or checkups every 18 months, root canals, etc.
Other people get benefits like $2000 a year for eye care items (new glasses, contacts, etc), or even have the option of subsidized laser eye surgeries. It all varies by company.
Vacations, Sick & Personal Days
Aside from vacations (standard is 2 weeks here), some people have personal days that are paid, about 3 a year they can take at any time just to have a day to themselves. And then you have sick days. Some have unlimited sick days (but don’t abuse it), and that’s nice to know you have that time off.
Some employers offer PAID sabbaticals (or even the option of unpaid ones are great too), where you can take time off after working for 7 years, and hang out, paid, for 5 weeks to relax. HOW AMAZING IS THAT.
Employer Pension Matching
Always a nice perk. It’s just getting more money for saving. How great is that!? Anecdotally, I put in $7000 of my own money into a plan by the time I quit my employer, and didn’t contribute a single penny thereafter. This is the result:
A few perks I have heard of:
- Telephone (cellphone 100% paid, use any time you want)
- Internet (yes!! especially this past year or so)
- Transit allowance
- Home office allowance
- Office Equipment – monitors, chairs, desks
- New cellphone upgrades every few years
- Subsidized Daycare (also a plus)
- Subsidized Parking on-site – I knew a company that paid their employees’ parking in the building they were in. How great!
- Education – courses, books, flying you out to seminars, conferences, training
- Free food – lunches, dinners when you are working late (even at home), or past certain hours
- Overtime? This could be a real bonus.
Of course, even if you aren’t in a job that is based on commissions, you may get bonuses. I try not to rely on this when I think of the job, but it’s a nice perk.
Commuting / Telecommuting
How far is the job? Is it on the way to your kids’ schools? Is it out of the way? Are they open to giving at least 2 days a week working from home? I find working from home to be a great perk because I can just wake up, log in and start working. Then I take breaks, and if I needed to go do something in the middle of the day, I can.
For me, this includes things like not being called on the weekends, or them respecting the lunch hour. A lot of companies don’t do this, but some do, and will not book meetings past noon on Fridays, or before 8 a.m. on weekdays. Things like that do matter, if they have respect between Work versus Home, and don’t try to bleed into either.
Flexibility in starting/ending hours
I LOVE THIS ONE. I used to be able to start at 7 and leave much earlier, because of Little Bun’s daycare hours, I then had time to take him to the park and do things I wanted, or run errands before coming home and feeling exhausted. Or even being able to take half days to work from home later, is fantastic.
Management & Colleagues
You all know what I am talking about. If your colleagues are insufferable, you will dread that Monday morning.
Job & its autonomy
Do you even like the work? Do you like how they give you leeway to do what you want without micromanaging you? Autonomy in your job, deciding how and when you do it, matters a lot, especially if it’s a task you don’t like (or even if you love).
Cost of working
I am not talking about work clothes necessarily, but I had to pay parking out of pocket in many of the places I worked at, and that extra cost does add up over the year to thousands. Or maybe you need to now buy a toll pass, or whatever else, to get to where you are going.
There are costs to working at different locations that need to be taken into account, even things like paying for extra gas, knowing you’d be stuck in traffic because there is no other route home… all of this stuff matters.