You got a job offer – and it’s for more money than you’re making now. But don’t put in your two weeks’ notice just yet. Before switching careers, there are aspects of the job you should consider aside from salary. Think about these prior to making that career change official:
Why are you leaving your current job? If you’re seeking any old job to just get out of your current situation, it may not be the best move. (According to The Ladders’ “Motivations for Making the Big Career Move,” more than two-thirds of respondents said they would make an immediate job switch, even for a position that wasn’t ideal. Yikes!) There are plenty of career opportunities out there and you shouldn’t make a move out of desperation. Be sure you are making the career change because it is the next step in your career path, it better matches your interests and skills or it provides you with more advancement opportunities.
Another worthy reason for switching careers is seeking out a job that is more mentally stimulating. There’s nothing worse than being bored at work. In fact, The Ladders’ report revealed boredom was the No. 2 reason people would quit their jobs. So, if you find something that will be more interesting for you in the now and give you more in-depth experience for the future, it’s a win-win.
Company Advancement Opportunity
Even if the new role seems like a lateral move or the job is within the same industry, switching careers to work for a company that offers a more promising career path is worth consideration. It’s especially important to find out if the prospective employer will invest in your advancement with formal career guidance or technical training.
Being employed by a company that feels like a perfect culture match will make work more enjoyable. It also increases employee satisfaction as well as retention. So, it should be taken seriously. Consider these 10 elements when switching careers for a better company culture fit:
- Work-life balance
- Reward culture
- Support and team
- Diversity and inclusion
- Ethics and values
- Recognition and sense of influence
You can interpret personal growth however you see fit; it might mean being required to make presentations when you hate speaking in front of crowds (and overcoming that fear) or using your newly acquired degree and the skills you gained from your education (read: tuition-reimbursement plans) to land the job of your dreams. Whatever it is, consider what your long-term goals are for self-fulfillment. If this new career path brings you closer to seeing them through to fruition, it might be worth the move.
When thinking about where your new career opportunity is located, consider both the site and the commute. While you can calculate how much more money you would spend on gas or mass transit for a farther commute, don’t forget about your comfort level in different settings. Some people love working in big cities with people bustling about and tons of lunch options – and others are annoyed by it. Know what suits you best.
A survey conducted by Fractl, published in the Harvard Business Review, studied the benefits jobseekers deem most desirable. Behind better health, dental and vision insurance, the most valued benefits were all about flexibility: more flexible hours, more vacation time, work-from-home options and unlimited vacations. If you have family obligations, the flexibility to make your own schedule or work remotely may trump anything else, even money.
You’ve heard a myriad of quotes about the company you keep. And while you often don’t have a choice in your coworkers, you should consider what your new potential colleagues have to offer you – and what you can offer to them. If your team would elevate you and challenge you to learn, that will show in your career ambitions. They may be better connected and able to introduce you to future career opportunities as well. If it just seems you have a lot in common and will simply get along better, that’s worth a look too. (Pro tip: Don’t dismiss your former colleagues once you make the career change. You never know where professional connections will lead you.)
Money, money, money. That’s what motivates many people to change jobs. It’s easy to compare as long as you’re considering the work you’re doing for what you’re being paid. You can’t just look at the annual salary; consider the type of work, the market rate and how many hours per week you’re expected to be working.
If you have health issues or dependents, this may be top of mind for you. Consider how much difference the benefits package is worth monetarily from employer to employer. Think beyond health, dental and vision insurance too. Most employers offer some kind of short- and long-term disability insurance, as well as life insurance. Consider a 401(k) match or other retirement plan options and paid time off (PTO).
While company perks probably won’t make a career change decision for you, they may sweeten the deal. If offerings like on-site yoga or dog-friendly offices will make you happy, know the prospective employer’s perks before you sign on. On the other hand, don’t take a drastic pay cut because of a few flashy employee benefits. Be sure you know what they’re really worth to you.