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5 Things to Think About Before You Accept a Job

Let's be honest: the first question in most of our minds when we're evaluating a job offer is, "What does it pay?" Without an adequate salary, all the gym memberships and dental plans in the world won't make us happy at our jobs.

But salary isn't the end all, be all of job requirements. HR expert and Career Spin blogger Mike Spinale offers this list of other important considerations to ponder before signing on the dotted line.

1. Benefits: These are the traditional bennies that ideally come with any job, including medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as retirement plans, life and disability insurance, and so on. It's important to take a close look at the fine print before you take the job. Figuring out what your co-pays will be, for example, will help you determine how much of your pay you'll really get to take home.

2. Work/Life Balance: Can you arrange a flexible schedule or telecommute? Are there working parents at the company, and if so, do they seem happy at work? What kind of vacation policy does the company offer, and do people take advantage of it?

3. Company Culture: Do people seem to like each other? Are they grumpy and withdrawn, or upbeat and positive? Pay close attention to the layout of the office and the working style of the employees you observe during the tour. Think about whether your working style would mesh with theirs.

4. Perks: Are there discounted gym memberships, free museum passes, or deals on sporting events or shows? Ask about perks up front, so that you can take advantage right off the bat.

5. Room to Grow: What's the next position above yours on the corporate ladder, and does it sound like something you might enjoy doing? Do people tend to move up, or stay put -- or worst of all, leave due to lack of opportunity?

Tell Us What You Think

What benefits and perks, aside from salary, matter most to you in a job? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.

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(Photo Credit: SashaW/Flickr)

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