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What’s Your Number – Understanding the Nuances of Executive Compensation

Everyone knows that finding the right position is important. However, pairing it with a comprehensive compensation package sweetens the pot that much more. The key is in understanding what you already have, and, likewise, clearly defining what you hope to gain.

And one of the best ways to do this is to evaluate competing offers side-by-side.

Granted, these kinds of comparisons require a bit more work upfront, but they typically pay huge dividends in the end. And while there’s no denying that HR and packaging recruiters can help you spot great opportunities, you must ultimately decide whether it’s in your best interest to take them.

Preparation Helps Your Packaging Recruiter Do More

Before you start thinking about future compensation, you must first inventory your existing assets. After all, it’s hard to know what’s better if you don’t understand what you have in the first place. That’s why it's imperative to collect all the facts ahead of time before starting your job search.

Proving your current worth goes a long way towards establishing future value.

Far too often packaging executives ask recruiters for help without knowing the specifics of their situation. In some cases, their spouse or partner handles the finances on their behalf. In other instances, they simply don’t know.

No matter what the cause, you’re doing yourself a disservice (and wasting valuable time) by not having this information readily available. Going in, you should be able to explain the full value of your current compensation package - including not only base pay but any fringe benefits as well.  

Your recruiting team is there to assist you, but you’ve got to meet them halfway. Laying all your cards on the table is the first step in the process. Keep in mind that one of the biggest hurdles of successful compensation negotiations is a continually moving finish line.

If an offer doesn’t reflect your true value, it’s perfectly acceptable to renegotiate. However, asking for more because you weren’t prepared - or “forgot” about something – can quickly erode trust and may hamper the bargaining process.

Doing so may be all it takes to drop a candidate from consideration (especially if the requested amount is too high). Completing your homework - and sharing the results with your recruiting team - can help you avoid this pitfall.

Decide If You Actually Want the Position

When searching for a new job, a major mistake is to look at salaries only. After all, studies have shown that supplementary benefits account for up to 30% of total compensation.

Consider using an evaluative tool to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each opportunity. Scorecards like these take into account the many intangible benefits that are so often overlooked. Important factors that could impact your decision include autonomy, work-life balance, and leadership/advancement opportunities.

Once it’s all said and done, you may find that your existing compensation package beats any others out there.

And don’t forget about the perks that affect your family as well. Topics such as health insurance, flexible schedules and influence on social or family life.

All of which need to be considered as part of the compensation package.

Packaging Compensation - Understanding the Big Picture

As previously mentioned, you should never just accept an offer at face value. Instead, take the time to carefully evaluate and dissect the package to see if you’re truly coming out ahead. Otherwise, you may end up worse off than where you started.

Here are a few topics worthy of consideration:

  • Base Salary - your fixed monthly paycheck that does NOT include any other potential compensation.
  • Bonus - a supplementary financial reward in addition to your base salary. Usually as a result of individual or team performance, accomplishing major goals, or as an incentive for joining or staying with an organization.
  • Profit Sharing - a variable pay plan that rewards employees based on a company’s profitability.
  • 401k - employer-sponsored retirement plans that are often tax-deferred.
  • Health Care - covering medical, dental, and many other well-being issues for employees and their dependents. Based on the rates of coverage and copays, health care benefits can be a significant source of compensation.
  • Vacation Time – the cornerstone of a good work/life balance. Oddly enough, time off is also one of the easiest benefits to negotiate on.

While there are many other types of possible compensation, the aforementioned tend to come up most frequently. A great way to quickly assess where you’re at is to use a comparison chart which factors in these variables.


While we all want to be compensated for our skills and abilities, there’s more to the equation than just a paycheck. Smart packaging executives understand that fringe benefits are an important part of the decision-making process as well.

And while it’s natural to be inquisitive about what you can get, it’s also crucial to know what you may be giving up. Only by doing a line-by-line comparison will you ever know for sure.

Yep. You’re going to need to put in some effort to determine where you stand on the compensation scale.

But rest assured - it will be worth it in the long run.  

Together- We Succeed!

Chase & Associates

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