Tag Archives: compensation

Are You Happy at Work? 4 Clues


These days there is a lot of conversation about employee satisfaction and happiness.  Company consistently evaluate and add perks and benefits in an attempt to achieve this happiness.  Unlimited time off, flexible work schedules, and even stocked break rooms are some of the ways companies work to ensure their employees are happy and love their jobs.

Here are some clues to help you determine if you love your job and are happy:


1.     Passion—if you feel passionate about your job already, congratulations.  However, for many people the passion for their job is harder to quantify.  Take some time to evaluate your job and task that you love or feel passionate about.  Once you identify the areas of your job that make you happy, ask your manager to increase those responsibilities.  This will help you increase the areas of your positon you feel passionate about and create more happiness.

2.     Independence—everyone wants a job that offers a little bit of flexibility, whether that’s the opportunity to choose roles on projects, the ability work from home or go to your child’s school pay.   This flexibility can help with your work life balance and make your job happier.

3.     Cultural Fit—this term gets used too much, but creating friendships at work and having camaraderie can help you find happiness at work.

4.     Compensation—we all want to be valued for the work we perform.  This compensation includes not only your salary, but benefits and perks.  Money alone can’t buy happiness at work, but being under compensated can quickly lead to discontent.




It’s Time for a Raise—What Type Do You Want?


As we get closer to the holiday season, more employees are looking for raises.  It’s always good news when you receive an increase in your pay, but the range of possibilities for increases is vast.

Some companies offer an annual raise that is usually a cost of living increase. This boost in pay is applied across the board to bump up all employees’ salaries, allowing paychecks to keep pace with inflation.

Other companies offer bonuses or merit-based raises that are applied using a metric to evaluate and reward each employee’s professional contribution. Offering merit-bases raises or other variable pay such as bonuses tends to be favored over applying an annual one-size-fits-all COLA.

Cost of Living Increase

Government jobs, as well as some non-profit sector position, adhere to the cost of living salary increase model.  While a pay raise is always welcome, it can be a bit of a blow to morale when everyone earns the same pay raise, regardless of each person’s job performance. In some cases, a merit raise can be applied on top of the COLA. This way, the raise functions both as a means to ensure that all employees get a needed boost to keep up with cost of living , while extraordinary employees earn their proper recognition for their performance.

Merit-based raises

Variable pay includes merit-based raises and bonuses. These are usually calculated by applying a formula to access employees’ performance and then divvying up the available funds according to which employees earned the highest marks.

Rather than applying their resources to an annual cost of living increase that is uniformly administered, employers are increasingly likely to favor merit-based increases and other incentives that recognize excellence and make employees happier in their day-to-day work lives.

No matter what type of pay increase, most employees are happy for the extra money.  Understanding the types of raises and increase can help you better understand the impact to your pocket.



How to Determine the Best Job for You


You have been searching for a new role for a while and you now have multiple offers.  How do you choose the best job for you?


What are you priorities?  Make a list of your goals for the future?

Spend some time putting your personal goals and priorities on paper for the next 5 years. Seeing your goals will help you keep perspective and help you prioritize the characteristics for your next position. Everyone’s goals are different—maybe it’s to grow technically, or learn a new set of skills or make a certain amount of money. Once you determine what you want your life and career now and in % years, your decision should become clearer.

Do Some Research

Not all companies are created equal.  Go online and search the company reviews.  These reviews will give you a firsthand account of the culture and the company.  Reviews often include comments on salary, benefits, work/life balance and perks.  This will help you validate your impressions of the company and ensure you are informed about all aspects of the company.

Evaluate Total Compensation

It’s great to have multiple offers, but it is important to make sure you are comparing total compensation.  Most offers include salary plus benefits and perks.  Additionally, your offers may include commission or bonuses.  When you are comparing each offer, you should include these benefits, perks and bonus to compare ‘apples to apples’.  You can also research comparable pay rates and benefits online via review sites and salary surveys to ensure your offers are comparable to the IT market today.

Consider How You Will Feel About the Job after the First 90 Days

The position you are evaluating today can change and evolve within the company.  As you evaluate your offers, it’s important to consider what the job will look like in 90 days, in 1 year, in 5 years. Be sure to ask and understand how each employer sees the job changing over time. If you learn, the company expects your role to evolve into a management role, research the salaries for that management role. While compensation could be relatively equal today, consider where it could be after one or two promotions.

Get Some Advice

The interview process and evaluating several job offers can be stressful. Talk with someone you trust who knows you and understands your goals and your industry. That could be your spouse, a mentor or someone you trust. Sometimes talking about your choices with someone else can help you clarify  your decision.

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