When I first joined a company long time ago. I didn’t know there are things other than Cash (Salary) exist. So this post is to help you understand what companies offer you. I write this post to younger me that not even know about this. This post is written in the spirit of Obvious to you. Amazing to others.
Let’s take a look at Offer, compensation, full package. Usually consist of these:
- Bonuses (Sign up, Relocation)
These are the basics any company MUST offer you.
- Legally required insurances: Labor insurance, Health insurance
- Paid vacations (2 weeks minimum)
- Paid sick days (10 days minimum)
- Paid maternity & paternity leave (Primary 3+ months; Secondary 1+ months)
- Anything else legally required from where you are (Japan -> Annual medical check)
Truth is big company pays more by giving you things can eventually become cash. Small company pays you more by giving you opportunities. Big company also pays more in cash. Levels.fyi, Paysa or Glassdoor all prove this. The best chance to get higher salary is at interview.
There are many guides like this one: ultimate guide on how to increase your salary at interview. But screwed the negotiation, find a company that pays everyone fairly based on your role and responsibility. Note that Happiness benchmark says you are not going to be any happier for making more than 83k.
For employers, find the gap between highest paid employee and lowest. Set a goal over time to narrow the gap. Find if you pay above/around/below market. Pay below means you will lose talent eventually. Try to include everyone for everything. Offer private health care even for part-time employees.
Common Benefits & Perks
Benefit: Compensation that is not wage
Perks: Nice to have
Common Benefits you’ll find in companies.
- (Green) Commute
- Hardware (laptop, home office) to do work
- Software to get work done
- Flexible Spending Account
- Private Health Care for you and your partner
- Supplimental Disability/Life/Accidental Insurance
- Dental/Vision Insurance
- Retirement plans (in USA is called 401k), pension
- Continuing Education budget (training, Books, online courses)
- Self-Care, well-being: (meditation, yoga, gym)
- Sabbatical, Intermission, Service leave
When you work at a place for more than N years, company usually offers you to take 1-month paid holiday.
- Personal leave/days
If you're unable to work for any reason, company may pay you up to N weeks with X percent of pay. For a nice company, N could be 12, X could be 70%.
- Family / Parental / Care giver leave
When you need to take care of your family.
- Bereavement leave
- Work Remotely / Telecommuting
- Flexible hours
- Time to contribute to nonprofit organizations, community
Neither Benefits nor perks
- Dehumanize cubicles
- Open Office layout
Following are called Office Traps:
- Ping pong, foosball table
- Free dinner at work (lunch is ok)
Any other things designed to keep you at work after work.
- Signing bonus
- Annual/performance bonus
- Profit Share
There are many forms of them:
- % / Number of Shares
- Employee Stock Option
- RSU, Restricted Stock Units
- ESPP, Employee Stock Purchase Plan
- ESOP, Employee Stock Ownership Plan
Along with different rules to get them (exercise):
- Cliff & Vesting
- Ability to purchase when joined
- Purchase when quit (Exercise)
- Trade while employed after certain time
- et cetera
Stock “Option” give you options to buy stocks.
Company can tweak these in whatever terms they mean. This is very complex. I don’t really understand. You just need to know this exists and ask. Hopefully your employer is fair and offers fair things to you.
Small company use this to make you take less cash; Big Company use this to make you stay with the company longer (golden handcuffs). There are companies pay full in cash that avoid all these complexities (rare): Netflix.
Small company’s equity could be over-night lottery. Private company’s equity is long-term investment. Public company (IPO’d)’s equity is delayed, guaranteed cash with higher interest rates.
Most important things to ask yourself evaluating an offer:
- WILL YOU BE HAPPY?
- WHAT DO YOU WANT TO WORK ON?
- Is the company a mindful place to work?
- Can you grow both personally and professionally?
- Is it safe to fail?
Because even getting $500K would not truly make one satisifies: Only Intrinsic Motivation Lasts.
Find more to read
- Zenefits Blog
- Gusto Blog
- I Know the Salaries of Thousands of Tech Employees by Jakie Luo
- Buffer is super transparent about their compensation
Thanks for reading. I hope this helps you.
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