How to Make Sure You Don’t Get Financially Screwed When Choosing Between Two Job Offers

Mariko O. Gordon, CFA
4 min readJul 22, 2022


Take the money and run.

You think it’s a no-brainer to choose between a $45 and $40/hour job offer. Just hit the bid, baby, and don’t look back.

Not so fast, Jack.

Don’t just focus on the hourly rate. If you want to make the right decision, look at the whole picture and be willing to do a little math.

First, are the two offers even comparable?

If one is contract work and the other is a job, you’re pricing apples against oranges. And even if they were both job offers, you should look at the total compensation package, not just the hourly rate to get the full picture.

Here’s why:

If you focus only on the higher hourly rate you won’t realize that your annual take-home pay will be lower. And that’s BEFORE you add up all the EXTRA benefits that come from a job vs. a contract position.

By focusing on the hourly rate instead of your TOTAL take-home pay, you are falling into a trap.

You’re getting $45/hour as a contractor FOR THE HOURS YOU ACTUALLY WORK. If you work 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, that’s 2080 hours, or $93,600.

But you won’t work those hours, because there are 10 Federal holidays when the office is closed and you won’t get paid. That’ll cost you $3,600.

If you get sick or need 3 personal days, you’ll get stiffed by another $1,080.

You’ll have to pay 100% of your health insurance premium. Maybe you don’t want health insurance. Maybe you’re on someone else’s plan. Maybe you’re young, healthy and reckless.

But let’s assume you’re prudent and want health insurance.

The average monthly premium in 2020 was $456 for a single person and $1,152 for a family or $5,472 and $13,824/year respectively. Rates vary enormously in real life — this is just an example — it’s worth researching.

You will also not be eligible for the 401K plan, and get zero employer contribution a.k.a “free money.”

Your $45 just shrank to $36.10 to $40.12/hr thanks to no paid time off, sick days



Mariko O. Gordon, CFA

Built $2.5B money mgmt biz from scratch. Coaching badass women to build & love their businesses, manage their finances, and make sure the thrill is never gone.