New Job: Is the Grass Really Greener? (Part 1)

Looking for a new job or wondering if it’s time to start a search? If so, maybe you’re a bit worried that the grass may not be greener on the other side. If any of that rings true, this blog is for you! In part one, we go over a few things you can think through to help ensure you make a positive career move.

Why are you thinking about leaving?

Here are some common responses we hear when speaking with candidates:

Higher pay rate

Not everything is about money or salary. However, it certainly can be stressful to be in a situation where you’re not making enough to live the life you desire! If you’re seeking better pay, have a solid grasp on what your numbers look like.

And when looking around at jobs, take into account “hidden costs.”

For example, maybe your current commute is 10-15 minutes and higher-paying jobs you have your eye on are about 30-40 minutes. The net pay increase could work out to be somewhat small! Plus, you’re also spending twice as much time on the road. Time certainly has value as well.

Other costs to factor in might include what the benefits cost per paycheck. If you’re paying into a 401(k) or similar plan, does the new employer provide the same or higher match? If you’re looking at jobs in the public sector, how much will you be required to contribute to the retirement plan? If you need insurance through your employer, what does the payroll deduction look like? What does the plan itself look like (deductibles, co-pays, HMO vs PPO, etc.)? All of these can have a big impact on your take-home pay and budget.

Work/life balance

Burnout from too many hours

When looking at other jobs from a distance, it can seem like anything out there in your industry has just got to be better than what you have now. However, the old saying about jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire exists for a reason.

Most organizations are short-staffed right now. If your industry is suffering from the talent shortage, you may find that jumping ship to another employer could put you in the same exact predicament.

Paid time off

This is a big topic, especially for anyone who’s been with their employer long enough to build up substantial vacation time. Be sure to weigh this into your overall strategy to get more work/life balance. In some cases, you may have the option to negotiate on pay for the sake of securing more time off than what a new employee would normally receive. For some employers, however, this type of negotiation is not an option.

It’s also becoming more common for employers to offer unlimited vacation time. In some cases, this works out exactly the way you would think, which is great! In other cases, there could be some specific requirements you must meet (all your work done, ensuring there is proper coverage for your absence, meeting your quotas or metrics, etc.) before an employee is allowed to partake. It’s never a bad idea to get the specifics so you can ensure you’ll be able to take time off. What if your new team is currently too short-staffed to allow for time off?

No room to grow

This could be true either because the company is too small or because the individuals in the roles you have your eye on just don’t have any plans to retire or move on anytime soon. Either way, this can be a totally legitimate reason to start looking.

The big caveat here is just to be mindful of what you’re getting into. Are you headed somewhere that does indeed offer many options for growth, or are you about to make a lateral move to a company where you’ll have the same problem?

So, how do you tell if the grass really is greener?

Great question! Check out part two of this post to start building your strategy.