When you think about how valuable your job is, do you think mostly about the salary, maybe a bonus or some stock compensation? In the tech industry, where my clients work, I find most people do just that. But there’s another part of your total compensation that you should pay more attention to: employee benefits.
I have always reviewed my clients’ employee benefits. But when I read Sarah Lacy’s recent book, A Uterus is a Feature, Not a Bug, I realized people — especially women — need to investigate their employee benefits more closely.
Why Employee Benefits Are So Important
Lacy asserts that women’s rights and safety nets are being stripped away at the federal government level. Which means those rights and safety nets are:
“falling more and more into the hands of states or private corporations. Individual companies are offering some of the best parental benefitsanywhere in the world….”
And while she focuses on parents and mothers in particular in her book, these safety nets and rights are important for everyone. Some benefits, like long-term disability insurance or generous parental leave, can be worth thousands of dollars a year and give you and your family meaningful protection against the vagaries of life.
Understand Your Benefits
This is simple but boring: You need to read through and understand your employee benefits. Ask your HR department or navigate your probably horrendous company intranet to find all the information.
What benefits are available to you? Some of the most valuable are:
- Health insurance
- Long-term disability insurance
- Family leave
- Flex time and remote work
Maybe you will find some more minor, but financially valuable, ones like:
- Tax-free transit passes
- Free legal services
- Dedicated commute shuttles
- Rental car discounts and other, bizarro discounts
A lot of benefits are weird and unexpected. Which is why you have to see the full listing of benefits to know what’s available to you!