Are you thinking about changing jobs?
At some point, we all do. Sometimes we focus solely on the underlying work, title, etc and don’t think about the financial elements to consider. Our next few blog posts will focus on some of the considerations around job changes – especially the financial aspects as you make your move.
To kick this off, our first piece of encouragement is to do two things:
- think about your goals (both career and personal)
- think about your current financial situation.
These are helpful data points. Whatever you do should align with your goals – and be in alignment with furthering your financial plan. But don’t stop with those thoughts. Ask yourself these questions:
Where do I want to go? Why?
Does my current role or the role you are looking at truly support where you want to go? If not, pause and really dive into the why’s on both sides. Think not only one step down the road, but two and three steps down the road and multiple years down the road. What doors will be opened? How could my trajectory change? What do I really want to do in the future?
What does my work/ life balance look like?
In considering any opportunity, you need to look at your “real” pay. If you are working significant overtime hours, your real pay is much less. If your new job will help you improve that real pay rate, that could be a big plus (key here: understand the math around hours worked and your official compensation packages).
How much time do I spend commuting?
How will your commute change? Will it be longer? Shorter? Will your mode of transportation change? Will your commute costs go up? If you spend more time commuting, it impacts your “real” salary both in the amount of time you spend commuting, but in physical/ emotional wear and tear as well.
How do I align on the values front? Is the new organization/ role I am looking at in alignment with my values and the culture I want to see?
Make sure you regularly ask this about your current role as well – it’s important that the values of your organization align with your values, and that you are a cultural fit. If the behaviors and attitudes of the organization/ leadership cause you to question the underlying values, but you chose to stay and don’t raise the issues, you essentially are deciding it’s a cultural fit for you and your values. So it is important to think through what you are really looking at, and what you are looking for. Go beyond the basics and ask the truly tough questions about the beliefs and actions you expect, and compare it to what you are hearing or seeing.
Build a financial model that truly captures your “total” compensation – both in your current job, and your prospective opportunity. This is all up compensation well beyond what HR tells you. HR only gives you quantifiable things, but can’t get at the intangibles that are really important.
Include at least the following in some shape or form in your model:
- Base Compensation, Bonus (and related variables/ probability), equity grants and related vesting schedule
- Retirement/ Savings Programs
- Education programs
- Other perks like discount programs and group insurance benefits
- Time off (including an understanding of extended leave programs, you never know when that could be important to you)
- Any other financial incentives that might be out there (like free software, gym membership reimbursement, etc)
- Overtime/ ability to control schedule and the impacts to your life and career
- Commute costs (and any reimbursements)
- Impact of stress on your life
- Anything else that your job does to drive you quality of life – capture it all.
Once you have your total picture on the financial piece, then you can line that up with the broader goals and taking stock exercises you have completed above.
No matter what you are considering on the job change front, the exercise needs to be holistic. Think broadly about who you are, where you have been and where you want to go. Think about the real things you value – but don’t be scared by opening new doors and taking a risk. More and more broader experience matters to future prospective employers.
And don’t forget that at the end of the day, you are the one in control of your career, no one else. Others will have opinions and ideas, but the decision is yours.
Sometimes it makes sense to stick with the devil you know, other times it makes sense to go with the devil you don’t know. And when you are evaluating where you want to go – remember the hidden agenda underlying the advice you will receive from your current employer, and the sales pitch you are receiving from your new employer.
We’ll explore some specific areas regarding job changes in upcoming posts… stay tuned!