Long gone are the days when a person used to join a company at the start of their career and would retire from it. Job security is a relic of the past, and it doesn’t matter what industry you work in or where you live. Heck, even the Japanese—known for their culture of lifetime employment—are witnessing a trend of job switching for better pay and conditions.
Whatever the reason, changing jobs is an important decision, and you shouldn’t make any rash, hasty decisions you might regret later. One wrong move can set your career trajectory back a couple of years. Avoid making mistakes and consider these six things when changing jobs.
1.The Location of the New Job
Where is your new company based?
Sometimes a person ends up getting a better job offer in a location a mile away—sometimes continents away. While the new job may offer a higher salary, asses the following before jumping ship (especially if the job is in a different country):
- Do you need to move and what are the overall costs of moving?
- Can you (and your family) adjust to the change?
- If moving abroad, can you adjust to life in a foreign country? How quickly can you grasp the basics of the local language?
2.The Commute to the New Office
Danny Finlay made headlines last year after revealing to CNBC his 4-hour daily commute to work from rural Dixie, California to San Francisco. He calls the practice Super Commuting, a growing trend nationwide.
Super Commuters (those who travel over 90 minutes) are increasingly common in big metropolitan areas with large economies and among those who work in American cities with the longest commutes.
Are you prepared to be a Super Commuter?
Take it from someone who has been one—it takes a toll!
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average one-way commute is 26.1 minutes. One study discloses that long commutes to and from work, on top of long working hours, is a significant factor contributing to unhappiness. A long commute (over 30 minutes one way) can cause weight gain and increased stress.
3.Your Potential Salary
So, your potential new job is offering you a 15% pay increase compared to your current one. Yay!
Yes, more money is nice but have you taken into account that you might owe your current employer something when changing jobs?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have annual or long service leave accrued that needs to be paid out?
- Am I a company shareholder?
- Do I use company-owned equipment or software? (e.g., a company car, cellphone, computer access to the company Adobe Creative Cloud)
- Does my current employer pay my cellphone bill? Will I be reimbursed for it?
If you answer yes to any of the questions, think about how you will finance these things and find suitable replacements for products or services your current employer provided.
4.The Job Benefits
Immediately opting for the job offer with the best salary isn’t always the wisest decision. It would be best if you considered the total package, including health insurance, perks, and retirement plans.
Don’t forget to mull over benefits the company offers—flexible schedules, commissions, profit or share options, home or remote working, gym membership, educational reimbursement, childcare options, maternity, and vacation days—before making any final decisions.
5.The Work Environment or Company Culture
Different organizations have different work cultures. Thoroughly research the company and observe the environment before accepting the role.
Try to gauge the professional atmosphere. Is it collaborative, productive, and engaging? Can you quickly adjust and fit in well? Do you see yourself being able to communicate openly with various levels of management?
Remember—only join companies that have a work culture that you feel comfortable in. A good salary doesn’t make up for a bad corporate culture.
6.The Management Style of Your New Boss
Can you work well with your potential boss?
The saying, “People don’t leave companies, they leave managers” is beyond a shadow of doubt. Your future boss will be the most important person in your new job. He or she can either make your new job a pleasant or terrible experience.
It’s a good idea to check the management style of your new supervisor beforehand. While some managers are flexible and vary their management styles depending on the nature of an employee or situation, others are more fixed. According to Daniel Goldman, there are six main styles:
- Coercive – demands immediate compliance but can dampen employee morale.
- Authoritative – mobilizes people toward a vision but allows the most work flexibility.
- Affiliative – builds team harmony or morale but rarely offers employee advice.
- Democratic – builds consensus through participation but schedules too many meetings.
- Pacesetting – expects high-performance standards but employees tend to feel overwhelmed.
- Coaching – focuses on personal development but requires constant dialogue.
Ask others about your future boss’s management style and behavior. Meeting and talking to team members will give you a good idea about your new boss. If you can, ask your future boss specific questions about their style during the interview.
Aside from your potential boss’ management style, it’s essential to recognize if you’re dealing with a difficult boss.
Lynn Taylor, a workplace expects cautions: "A bad boss won't just jeopardize your career growth — they'll also negatively impact your personal life…" In her book Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots, she lists down 24 signs to watch out for.
Only accept the job offer if his or her behavior, actions, and management style complement yours.