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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Changing Jobs

11 Articles That'll Help You Understand Your Benefits (Because It's a Lot of Paperwork)

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You just started your new job and you’re pretty pumped. Well, you’re pumped to get into the nitty-gritty of your role. You’re less pumped to go through that HR paperwork. Not only is it a lot, but you’re not 100% sure what it all means.

If you’re confused about all the information coming your way, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve rounded up this list of articles to help you understand (and get the most out of) your benefits package.

1. How to Understand That Massive Benefits Book You Just Got Handed

Let’s start with the basics. The big benefits book you receive when starting a job can be overwhelming, but here’s a primer on what it typically covers to help you decipher it all.

2. Everything You Need to Know Before You Sign a Non-compete Agreement

Okay, so this one’s not technically a benefit, but it’s still something you could receive when you begin a new job and should definitely understand before signing.

3. What You Need to Know About Your Paycheck

You may think it’s unnecessary to review your paycheck, but for your first few paydays, it’s smart to look it over to ensure you’re getting what you’re owed.

4. Healthy Choice: How to Pick the Best Benefits Package

Everyone’s health situation is different, so it’s vital to understand what your options are and pick the insurance plan that’s best for you.

5. The “I’m Bad at Money” Person’s Guide to Understanding 401Ks and IRAs

It may be overstated, but it’s also true—it’s really never too early to start thinking about retirement. There are three main types of accounts that can help you save, each with their own financial incentive.

6. Excuse Me, Silly Question Here—But What Exactly Is a 401K?

401K matching is basically another word for free money. Yes, you read that correctly—so it’s worth knowing how it works.

7. The Answer to “When Can I Ask for Vacation Days at a New Job?”

You know what vacation days are, but knowing when you’re able to use them is another story.

8. Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Taking a Personal Day (Plus Some!)

There’s no standard definition for a personal day since every organization’s PTO policy is different. Unlike vacation, typically these days are for more intimate matters—like attending a funeral or having a medical procedure—but it’s always best to check your company’s employee handbook (if they have one) to be certain.

9. How Unlimited Vacation Works in Reality (and Not Just in Company Handbooks)

This increasingly popular benefit means that the number of days you can request off doesn’t have a cap. Though how you use them will vary based on where you work, it never means that you can just take off whenever you want.

10. Everything You Need to Know About Summer Fridays (and Weren’t Sure Who to Ask)

You’re probably noticing a theme at this point—like other PTO policies, Summer Fridays will differ by company. The point of a Summer Friday is to make your weekend a bit longer, so you’ll need to manage your time in order to leave early since your workload will most likely be the same.

11. 5 Myths (Too) Many Job Seekers Believe About Popular Job Perks

Spoiler alert: Having beer on tap doesn’t mean the office is a 24-hour flip cup tournament. Here’s what else you should know about flex hours, WFH policies, and free food in the office.

The faster you familiarize yourself with your benefits, the faster you can hit the ground running in your new role—and enjoy all that your job has to offer.