What the Fuck is a 401k?

This June, I will, for the first time in 19 years, no longer be a student. This means it’s time to apply for jobs! I’ve been applying for jobs here and there, and while I’m happy to say I’ve gotten 9 rejections, 2 interviews, and 1 other company who e-mailed me back, I still have no idea what the hell I’m doing.

I keep getting questions like “What is your desired salary?” I don’t know, I’ve never had a salary before. It would be nice to make upwards of $50k/year, but it looks like that’s not happening with my degree in Biomedical Engineering. Is this some sort of trick question? A sick joke? Am I supposed to offer really high so they negotiate it low?

Most companies in my field offer medical, vision, and dental insurance in addition to a 401k and other things. What is a 401k???? According to NerdWallet, it’s a retirement fund. Why is it a benefit? Is this just money that they’re not paying me now? Why do I care?

What other benefits should I look for? I know healthcare is #1, considering I lose access to my school insurance in December. How much money do I need or should I expect to make?

I don’t understand!!!

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