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Terms Besides Salary To Establish When Landing a Job

    1. Vacation Days

    Somehow this seems to be one of the most inflexible items in an employment contract. Most companies seem to lock in their vacation days to years of service, but long tenures with a single employer are increasingly rare these days. If you can manage to get the vacation you think you deserve, this is like gold.

    2. Regularity of Performance Evaluations

    Performance evaluations are decreasing in popularity, but if you want feedback and regular check-ins to see when you could get promoted you need them. If a company performs these annually in theory and as good as never in practice, it can be a problem and one you don't want as a surprise.

    3. Benefits

    If you can get an idea of how much your dental or optical or chiropractic or whatever spending is, and figure out your coverage under the employer's plan - you'll have an idea of what you need your salary to be in terms of any short-comings. These packages can be dense and incomprehensible, but if you have contact with the HR person, they might be able to forward you a brochure to give you a picture of what you'll be dealing with.

    4. A 'Day In The Life'

    This is one of my favourite questions to ask in a job interview. It gets past a lot of jargon and you get an idea of what you'll actually be doing in your day-to-day work life.

    5. Meetings - Frequency and Length

    "This meeting could have been an email"; meetings are part of corporate life, but to many, they are the antithesis of productivity. I'm also very skeptical of meetings that are longer than an hour. If your prospective employer seems to be addicted to meetings, consider what your tolerance (and bladder capacity) is.

    6. Remote/Hybrid Work Flexibility

    Even if you'd prefer to be in the office most of the time, I think any workplace should have at least some flexibility to accommodate the chaos of real-life - snow storms, sick relatives, who knows what might keep you from your regular desk?

    7. Leave (Mental Health, Parental, Bereavement)

    Speaking of the tribulations of real life, can your employer accommodate you when you can't perform your job temporarily?

    8. Physical Amenities In the Office

    What's the kitchen/breakroom look like? If you bike to work, could your stow your bike? Shower? Maybe there's even a fitness centre. Hopefully free coffee at least!

    9. Culture

    A friendly jovial workplace is appealing, but being "like a family" is usually a red flag for lack of boundaries.

    10. Diversity

    I'm not a minority in any way. Still, knowing a workplace is inclusive is comforting and I've found the less diverse the workplace is, the more toxic behaviours seem to occur.

    11. Career Mobility

    Does the company have a career track for the position you're applying to? As in, where could someone in that position expect to be in 5 years? Are lateral moves between departments encouraged or common? Is there a policy to favour promotion from within the company over external hiring of management positions?

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