by Robert Gannone
When it’s time to decide on a job, there are many factors to consider, both before and after you receive an offer. For example, location tends to be pretty important. Ask yourself “where do I see myself living?” There are many more options than New York City! Try to visit a place at least once before you contemplate moving there, and evaluate: Do I like the weather… the people… the nightlife? Do I already have friends there? Can I even afford to live there?
To help you consider your geographical options, Salary.com allows you to see the cost of living in different cities, and how far that salary can really go. Remember that you’ll be looking not only at rent, but also perhaps utilities, cell phone bills, student loan repayments, the price of transportation, groceries, entertainment and other activities.
City Data.com is also a great website that posts detailed information on the average climate, average age of the citizens, median income, and crime statistics on every major (and even minor!) city in the United States.
As you’re interviewing and hopefully getting the offer you want to accept, you have to decide not only if the position right for you, but if the company itself is as well. Ask yourself, will I fit in with the company culture? Will I enjoy working for this company? Does it adhere to my values?
Look beyond the base salary and examine “the complete package” being offered – many “costs” of employment can have a significant effect on your paycheck. For example, does the company offer and contribute towards good health, dental and/or vision insurance? Does the company make 401K contributions, or offer stock options, tuition assistance or reimbursement? (No, it’s not too early to start thinking about these things!) Sure, most places have coffee machines and other basic “perks,” but consider what other things you may need or enjoy. Would you enjoy a free membership to the company gym? What about discounts on transportation, dining or entertainment? Some companies such as Google go well beyond the basics, offering such options as an on-site doctor or fitness classes. It truly is worth your effort to consider “the complete package” when you get an offer from a company.
Certainly, you do have to look at the salary. To see comparable salaries for the positions you are looking for, be sure to check out our Career Surveys from The College of Arts & Sciences, The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and The Wharton School.
And of course, before you do make that important decision, feel free to visit Career Services and speak with one of our counselors!