Saturday, January 12, 2013

Job hunting thoughts

Things I require:
First shift (working something between 6 am and 6:30 pm)
Minimal weekend call, if any
Competitive salary

Things I would like but don't require:
Pleasant work environment
PAs report directly to a pathologist or PA
Complex specimens (not necessarily all complex specimens, but enough that I feel challenged)
Possible non-grossing duties (teaching, administrative tasks, etc)
3 weeks vacation (or PTO vs vacation + sick days)
Competitive 401K*
Medical/Dental (Vision would be nice too)
Medium sized city or larger
Somewhere there is snow at least every now and then

Edit: Other things that would be nice: Paid relocation expenses and decent parking situation. 

There are a lot of different things that factor into job satisfaction and there is a much to be said for having good coworkers, so I'm trying not to have too many hard and fast requirements. I spent three and a half years working second shift and missing out on my family. I made a decent income, especially for the city where I lived, but I didn't want to be on those hours for the rest of my life. And, of course, increased earning potential is one of the reasons I went to graduate school. It came along with a not-insignificant amount of student loan debt so there are reasons beyond personal financial goals that I put competitive salary on that list.

* says "Companies contributed an average of 4.1% of participants' pay to the plan,". It is important that people understand the basics... a surprising misunderstanding I've run across is that it is money taken out of your salary instead of money saved in addition to your salary.  401k has to be factored in when you're considering compensation... but it can get confusing for a lot of people. My first real job only matched funds (so there was no minimum, if the employee didn't contribute they didn't earn anything), but matched 100% up to 3% of my salary and then 50% up to 9% for a maximum of 6%. Some employers pay without requiring an employee match, and some will pay their minimum amount as long as the employee contributes any amount. It varies by company. There is also profit sharing to consider and then combination plans.


  1. My company match tops out at 4%. Double digit would be amazing. I've never seen it (but I trust it's out there).

  2. IMHO, to get the first 2 things on your like but don't require list, you'll probably need to avoid Pharma. BIG TIME!!!!