Jobs with benefits

Just a quick post to (hopefully) gather some comments from you all. I recently resigned and currently have no real idea how I’ll be paying my mortgage in the not too distant future, so as you tend to do I’ve been looking at jobs. Notice the language – I’ve been looking at jobs rather than looking for a job. I love my current job and the decision to resign was an incredibly hard one, in fact I had a wobble earlier today when I wondered whether I’d made the right decision. However the pendulum has swung back and I’m confident again that I have, and also confident in my decision to look at jobs, see what is out there, and consider really very carefully if I want to apply for one.

The upside of this is that I’m only likely to apply for jobs I want, I really really want <a zigazig ha> which should save time and will hopefully (if I hold my nerve) mean that I take a positive step forward into a new role that fits with my talents and interests. That’s the plan anyhow. The other upside of this looking at jobs, not looking for a job, is that I’m keeping my objectivity a little longer than I would normally and I’ve started exploring the world of employee benefits.

As someone whose proper jobs have always been in academia, civil service or for charities, the idea of benefits that sound like benefits are novel. I absolutely love my current flexible working arrangement which sees me working 7.5hrs any time between 8am and 6pm – core hours (when you have to be working) are 10-4. I don’t have any sort of routine in my life so being able to get into work one day at 10am and start another at 8am to skip off early evening has always appealed. That said of late the flexible hours have started to backfire, I’ve found myself getting up to start work early, with the intention of finishing early, but actually found myself just working longer and longer hours. Similarly what used to be an enjoyable Sunday afternoon spent musing on work, scribbling in my moleskine or drawing on a flipchart, sometime in the last year or so had turned into just normal work. On those Sundays I didn’t get to do work in the afternoon I’d approach the evening with an anxiety and have to power through so that I could start the week prepared and ready for whatever was coming up. Weekends off, like completely off, have been an absolute rarity, and my OU study has managed to invade any that were truly work-free.

So imagine my delight when I saw an interesting sounding job, Director of Methodology at NatCen which is definitely worth a look at. Imagine even more my surprise to note the following:

Benefits include a generous holiday entitlement and a defined contribution pension scheme, as well as every other Friday off.

Inspired, quite simply inspired. There is stacks of evidence (note to self – go find the links) that suggests flexible benefits support employees to work more effectively and productively, that happy and healthy employees bring benefits to their organisations. So why were I, @charstamper and @brownevk all so taken with this benefit? It may have been part novelty, or it may have just been the freedom to imagine longer weekends. I have no doubt whatsoever that whoever were to get that role would end up working weekends anyway, so why not acknowledge and reward it. I know if I worked a 9 day fortnight I’d pick the hours up elsewhere, so it’s not like the employer loses anything – and yet it still elicited the twitter gasps and nods of approval. It’s not in my gift to offer my staff benefits, not like that, but trust me if I could I’d do it tomorrow.

So what do you reckon? What other amazing benefits are out there? What is your favourite benefit? Do you work for the money/the benefits/the love of it/as a stepping stone? I’ve lived a sheltered life and think it would be good to know what is considered normal before dipping a toe back in the job market so please do add comments here or on twitter.

2 thoughts on “Jobs with benefits

  1. Like I said on Twitter I LOVE the sound of this benefit. Personally, I work to live but seeing as I have to, I’ve worked hard to make sure my job is one I love. Salary and benefits mean increasingly more to me the longer hours I work. And you’re right, if I worked a nine day fortnight I would work the other hours elsewhere. Be great to find have evidence of benefits like this so we can all go to our employers and convince them to allow working patterns like this!

  2. Not having to book holidays weeks in advance is one of my favourites! Some days I can just decide on the morning that I’m not going to work that day – what an absolute treat. Fridays off is always good. Free tea and coffee all day at work. Being able to decide what time I have lunch. Cheerful colleagues. Not having every minute of my time dictated. (I’m easily pleased! And maybe these aren’t what you’d call ‘benefits’. But I’ve worked in places that had none of these things, and they’re what makes the most difference to how happy I am at work). Good look finding a job that suits you!

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