Let’s get this straight: There is nothing wrong with leaving a job that does not provide the satisfaction and perks that a hard worker like you desires. Sometimes it takes time to find the profession that truly suits you, and there is nothing wrong with that. After all, millennials are constantly changing jobs as they find their professional identity.
However, while young people still early in their careers may have the luxury of being a bit more carefree as they find their true purpose, folks with mortgage payments, families, and retirement goals need to be a bit more strategic when looking at a new career or an advancement opportunity at a new organization. Many considerations must be made before accepting an offer. Below we offer some guidance to help you make the best decision for your career.
There are many reasons why you may feel that it is time to move on from your current position and find a new career, and most of them are valid. It could be as simple as the fact that you dread waking up and going to work every day, or that the stress is so much that you take that anger home with you and it affects your family and personal life. The reason could also come down to the fact that you are complacent with your current career and even your decent salary is not enough to keep you inspired to continue.
Wherever the reason, it is important that if you decide to move on that you find a position that fills those holes and creates the spark necessary to do the work that is important to you. Remember that changing jobs may not always only be an act of desperation but instead a smart move for your professional development. Many experts recommend switching positions every four years because doing so can keep you engaged, help you to learn new skills, and enhance your resume because it shows that you don’t like to remain stagnant in one position all of your life.
So the first benefit that you need to consider when moving to a new job is how will this new career or position benefit you on a professional level. In addition to providing a better salary, will this new position make you feel appreciated and valued? Does it fit your personality and is it a job that you will love doing every day? Most of all, will you respond with pride when people ask you what you do for a living? If you answered yes to these questions then the other benefits listed below will just be the cherry on the cake.
While finding a job that will have you waking up with a smile on your face is great, you will also want a title that offers the required compensation that will allow you to pay your bills, provide for your family, and give you some extra to put away for your retirement nest egg. Before you fill in the blank on the application that asks your desired salary, you will want to take a moment to ask yourself a few questions. First, factor in your experience and education. What do you bring to the table and what is a fair dollar amount that matches this expertise.
You will obviously want to ask for more than you make at your current job but don’t go overboard. There should be an absolute minimum that you will accept and don’t settle for less. However, if you are open to negotiation, say so and make your argument with evidence from your past experience. When thinking about salary, you also need to weigh in more concrete factors such as the cost of living in your area. Also, research similar positions in the industry and see how much they are paying and use that information as well during your negotiations.
When considering the money portion of your benefits, you also want to think about your future. What kind of retirement plan does this new company offer? Is it comparable or better than what you have now? Most importantly, can you roll your existing 401k over to this new company? While a better retirement plan is desirable, a lessor or equal plan should probably not be a deal-breaker. You always have the opportunity to keep your money in the existing 401k or roll it over into an IRA.
Benefits That Improve Your Life
The overall benefits package at a new position will also be a big part of your decision to change careers or stay put. These days, many people are interested in perks that help them advance in their careers like tuition reimbursement, formal mentorship programs, and in-house seminars and workshops. Does this company want you to succeed and spread your wings? If so, it may be a good destination.
As far as healthcare benefits and insurance go, you will want a plan that is both affordable and comprehensive so you can get the medical care you need and add your family if necessary. Remember that some insurance plans don’t cover all ailments, and if you have a particular condition, you may want to research potential positions that will provide the insurance you need. For instance, some may cover treatment for vein health if it’s medically necessary but not if it’s deemed purely cosmetic. If you need coverage for something specific, inquire with the new company’s HR department.
Many working parents may have decided to change careers so they can work while spending more time with their families. If this is you, a good company will provide paid parental leave, the chance to work remotely from home, and flexible schedules provided that you complete your projects on time. If you need these types of arrangements and you have proven that your skills and education warrant you more wiggle room then a good company will happily provide these perks.
Yes, the idea of changing jobs can be daunting, but sometimes a different experience may be just what you need to elevate your career to the next level. Take the time to research potential positions, ask the right questions, and you could land the job you always wanted.
By Indiana Lee, BOSS contributor