What To Look For In A New Employer
When searching for a new job, think about what you want to look for in a new employer, then do your best to find the perfect employer for you. Following are some ideas to consider:
Look for employers that are likely to offer the benefits you need.
- Large corporations and federal, state and local government agencies usually have the best benefits. Plus large corporation and government agencies need just about every job you can think of. For instance, people think of gardeners as people who work on their own, or for small companies. Yet large hotels and suburban government office buildings have gardeners on staff.
- Benefits to look for include good health coverage, good other benefits including life and disability insurance and a retirement plan.
- Good health insurance coverage is a must.
- In addition to the coverage you need, the percentage of the premium that you are required to pay should be competitive with like jobs in your area. So should the deductibles and co-insurance payments.
- If you don't know what's competitive, ask around -- including call the Human Resource departments at competitors.
- To help evaluate whether a health insurance policy suits your needs, see our Health Plan Evaluator.
- Perhaps you can find an employer that offers life insurance and possibly even disability income insurance and/or a retirement plan. Generally you won't be asked medical questions if you purchase life insurance within a period after starting to work. In addition to the traditional reasons to purchase life insurance, it can be turned into cash if your health deteriorates. To learn more, see New Uses Of Assets -- Life Insurance.
- Retirement plans are also a good thing to look for.
- They permit you to sock away money before tax.
- You may even find an employer that increases your income by matching your contribution.
- Another plus: money in a retirement plan is protected from creditors.
- You can also borrow from a retirement account if you end up needing the money prior to retirement. To learn more, see New Uses of Assets- Retirement Accounts.
- To learn about a potential employer's benefits without raising questions:
- Look on the employer's web site.
- Ask someone who works at the company.
- Ask a financial planner or attorney to call the company and ask for the information. The caller can say she or he represents a client who is considering a job but is not at liberty to disclose the client's identity.
- Ask about the benefits after you receive a job offer and before you accept it. You can always blame the request on your (fill in the blank such as brother in law or friend) who is a financial planner and is reviewing your situation for you.
Look for a company that is friendly to people with your health condition.
If other employees have paved the way, there is less groundwork for you to do.
- To find a friendly company, ask in support groups, local disease specific non-profit organizations, your house of worship, and anyone you know who works at the company.
- Add your findings into the factors you consider about whether to take a particular job.
- Factors to consider when looking to find out if a company is friendly, see:
Look for a company that is subject to the laws that protect people with a life changing condition.
The laws apply to larger companies and governments, and to many small employers.
- The federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) or similar state laws protect people with a health condition which rises to their definition of a "disability" against discrimination, and require an accommodation to help do the job.
- Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and similar state laws, larger companies also have to give you unpaid time off if needed because of your health condition.
- Depending on the state in which you live, these laws may apply to smaller employers.
NOTE: When thinking about whether the above mentioned laws apply, if you are considering going to work for a franchise, keep in mind that the only employees that count when determining whether there is the legally required minimum number of employees are the employees of the particular owner. Employees of another franchise owner do not count - even if they are nearby.
Consider the corporate culture - the way things get done.
Once you know what you want and are willing to do, look for a fit with a prospective employer.
- Do you prefer to work in teams or alone?
- Do you like to have drinks after work with co-workers or to go straight home?
- Are you willing to be available 24/7?
- Is your health good enough to work the required hours?
Do not discriminate against yourself. Apply for positions for which you are qualified and that you're able to handle physically and emotionally. Don't think about what could happen in the future because of your health history.
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