UIC Office of Career Services
Student Services Building,
1200 West Harrison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607-3344
Phone: (312) 996-2300
Fax: (312) 413-0383
M-F : 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
THE WHOLE PACKAGE
Before accepting any job offers, you must take the whole package into consideration and not just the salary! Many individuals focus primarily on the money without fully considering the range of benefits and perks that may or may not be included, and the expectation of them in return.
WHAT IS THE SALARY?
Although it's not everything, salary is a big component of compensation. Research the salary for your particular degree; also consider the industry, geographic region, and size of the company. Many factors play a role when starting salaries are determined. One primary source is the "Salary Survey" publication published by The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) several times a year. This publication lists the starting salaries for entry-level positions for most undergraduate and graduate degrees. Other places to research salaries are the NACE job seekers salary calculator, www.salary.com, and www.bls.gov/ooh.
WHAT ARE THE TIME EXPECTATIONS?
First, remember that you are now considered a working professional and you will be earning a salary, which means you will likely not be getting paid by the hour. In some cases it means you may not get overtime, or even compensatory time. Have a clear understanding of the number of hours that are expected of you for the position. Employers vary on the number of hours they expect you to work for them on a weekly basis with the average being 40-45, but ranging anywhere between 35 and 55 or more! Also consider what the typical travel commitment might be.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Some of the key benefits to consider include: Vacation Days; Sick Days; Personal Days; Basic Holidays; Medical Insurance, Dental and Optical Benefits and Retirement Plans. Other benefits include: Tuition Reimbursement; Travel; Parking; Flex Time; Health Club; Company Car, Phone and/or Laptop etc. Always be sure that any benefit discussed and agreed upon is offered to you in writing!
Keep in mind that some offers are not negotiable, and given the highly competitive job market, it may not be wise to ask about negotiating. Entry level salaries in particular are typically more fixed. However, if you feel that you need to negotiate, be sure to offer compelling reasons why you are asking for more compensation. For more complex issues, we recommend that you consult with a Career Services Advisor.
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