About employment benefits
While benefits are related to company culture, they can also be conflicting. Just because you are allowed to do something doesn't mean you won't be penalized for it later.
Unlimited PTOs. It's been talked about a lot. The gist of the cons is that it's a cost saving tactic especially if you have negative stigma around taking PTO. Companies don't pay out unused PTOs at the end of employment and employees might be guilt tripped into not taking PTOs.
It's not all bad or a definitive red flag though. If it comes with minimum PTO per year, it shows good commitment from the company to actually provide employees with the PTOs.
The same can be said for sick days or mental health days (or really just any kind of off days). Companies not only shouldn't penalize those who uses them but they need to empower and encourage their employees to actually make use of them.
For example, during performance reviews, the evaluation might not take into account of the days you took off. Which means, if you achieved 90% of the goal because you were sick for 10% of the duration, you technically met expectations but instead, you'll given a lower rating.
This means for every day you take off, you need to work extra hard for the other days you'll be working. That doesn't really sound like an off day now, does it? You'll just end up being more stressed about the work you need to do once you get back.
Same can be said for a lot of benefits (especially for the mental health oriented ones). Just because they exist doesn't mean you're actually encouraged to use them. It's like the ice cream machines at McDonald's. If they're always broken, it's as good as none.
That said, it's not always all bad. Talk to your manager, look for internal support groups, you'd be surprised to find the kind of personal experience others are willing to share. It might not be exactly the same but they can be a good pointer on navigating around the process.
There's also some lesser known benefits like commuter benefits. You might not need them per se, but you can definitely consider planning your commute (or move) around it and you'd be surprised how much extra you can get or save out of it.
On top of that, the whole monstrosity of HSA, EPO, PPO, HDHP in the health insurance department. Dig into them and pick the plan that works best for you. Picking the wrong plan (or going to the wrong care provider) can lead to unexpected cost (welcome to healthcare in the US).
I'm gonna stop here before I dive deeper into things I'm unfamiliar with (401k / Roth IRA stuff). Point being, there's all kinds of benefits, they might not be there front and center but figure it out what is there or not can be very beneficial for you.
This is the first thread of the year because I low key not sure what else to tweet about. Let me know if there's anything specific you want me to talk about. You can find all my older threads here: