December 13, 2012

Changing Jobs

Credit: jscreationzs
December is an important month for many reasons: it’s the end of the year, there are a lot of holidays and days off from work, a lot of things go on sale, a lot of people receive their annual reviews from their employers, and it’s your last chance to eat what you want to before you try that truthfully disgusting diet of beets, tofu, and sit-ups in the New Year to shed those pesky pounds. Directly related to a lot of people receiving their annual reviews from their employers in December is the fact that a lot of people also consider changing jobs because of the feedback and future outlook they receive in those year-end review meetings. I’m not having the itch to change jobs this holiday season, but I know many people who are. Today, let’s take a look at four considerations I believe a potential job-changer should ponder before they take a leap of faith.

1. Your Potential New Role
       a. What would your day-to-day activities and responsibilities be?
       b. What hours and how many hours would you be expected to work?
       c. Will you have to work from home or check your phone after hours?
       d. Who would your boss be? Who would your subordinates be? Can you meet them?
       e. What’s your position’s typical career path? How would you advance?

2. Your Potential Compensation and Benefits
       a. What would be your pay? Is it commission-based, hourly, or is it a salary? How will it increase over time?
       b. What retirement plans (401(k), 403(b), etc.) does the potential employer offer? Does the company match your contributions?
       c. Would you be eligible for a bonus your first year?
       d. Would you and your family receive health insurance, disability insurance, and/or life insurance? How good are the potential benefits?
       e. How many vacation days would you be allowed? Do you have to work for a period before you receive days off?

3. What’s Being Left Behind?
       a. Would you be forfeiting any bonuses, company matches, or vacation you would have had with your old job? Would your new company be willing to make up for what you would be leaving behind?
       b. Would you or your family be losing any insurance coverage or quality of insurance coverage? If so, what can your new company do to make up for your reduction in benefits?

4. The Happiness Factor
       a. Would your potential job make you be more or less energized when you wake up in the morning?
       b. How would your commute be? Would you have to travel a lot?
       c. How stable is your potential position and potential employer? In what direction is that stability headed - more stable or less stable?
       d. Would you be an addition, or are you replacing someone? If you are replacing someone, what happened?
       e. What does your spouse/family think?

If you are thinking about changing jobs and have considered all these questions, and where you are currently employed ends up looking pretty sweet, stay! You need to realize that in the current environment, there are a lot of people out there who would gladly take your job and its shortcomings.

If you are thinking about changing jobs and have considered all these questions, and you are ready to jump ship, proceed cautiously. Realize that no matter how favorably a new role or a new employer can look, you’ve only seen their best side, and changing jobs will be scary. The uncertainty, the simultaneous fear and excitement, the feeling that you are betraying your current employer and coworkers, and the nervousness about being the new guy or girl on your future employer’s campus are all emotions you are going to have to wrestle with. You should also know that there are very few social situations more awkward than finishing your last few days or weeks after you have given your resignation. However, all of my warnings being said, life is too short not to have a job you love, or can at least mostly like, 40, 50, or 60 hours a week for possibly thirty or more years.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but it can be. Please pass this on to anyone you know who is considering changing jobs.


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