If you are thinking of changing your job and that too for the first time, it is indeed a tough call. It becomes very difficult to decide whether you should go for the new opportunity or stick to the old one. Here are a few questions which you should consider before taking a decision.
It is a dream of every individual to have a high-flying career with a lucrative job and a towering position in an esteemed global organization. Every person is on the lookout for a better opportunity even if he is working with a good company that gives a considerably good pay package. When a prospective employer lures you with an attractive salary package and added perks with a higher position, you are tempted to take the leap. In this situation you may get confused whether you should accept the offer or continue with the current company. Mostly you will end up going with the new enticing offer. But wait! Have you really given it a serious thought? Have you found out what exists beneath the glossy surface of the new offer letter? Have you done SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of both the companies before switching your job?
You should do some research about the new company before changing jobs or else switching to a new job can turn out to be a mistake. This is exactly what happened with Sean. He was working with an MNC at a junior position for almost 2 years. He was about to get a raise and promotion in a matter of few months. Another organization offered him double the wages and benefits. Blinded by the prospects, he switched his job without finding out more about the company. In the new organization, he had to work at uncomfortable timings to meet the unrealistic targets with stringent deadlines. He later found out that the perks were directly related to the performance of achieving targets. He no longer had a work-life balance. He compared his companies and found that he had a comfortable job with a decent salary at the earlier organization and badly regretted changing the job. He could no longer take the work pressure and had to take up a low-paying job in another organization. If you don’t want to end up in a situation like Sean, you will have to take calculated risks.
Evaluate Your Prospects
Confusion regarding changing a job or continuing with the old one is common. Well, this can be a situation with most of us especially when we are planning to change the job for first time in life. In these circumstances, it becomes essential to compare every aspect of the new and the current job. Here are few questions you should consider before you decide in the favor of or against a new job opportunity.
Can you trust the new company for achieving your long-term career goals?
Your first move should be to gather as much information as possible about the new company. Try to find out if the new company will help you in growing financially and technically. Inquire with other employees of the company about the business, expansion plans and market standing of the company. You may also search the Internet for the news, balance sheets, market value and third-party assessment of the organization on different forums. It is essential that the company you are switching to is a growing organization. The organization should also have a deep regard and respect for its human assets. You can also check their website for “Best Practices” or “Best Employer” awards. Try to find out if there is no immediate merger or acquisition from another company planned for your new organization. If there is, then your new job can be at stake in future. In such a situation, it is always better not to switch to a new job.
Does the company have a healthy and conducive work environment?
When you go for an interview just observe the culture of the organization. Contemplate if you will fit in. Check how the hierarchy works. Calculate how your qualification and experience fits in for the job profile. Understand the scope of growth you will have in terms of experience. Assess if the required job is going to be challenging enough for you. If possible, inquire with your friends why the person you are replacing left the job in the first place. This will give you a fair idea about the exact working conditions in that organization. If it has anything to do with the work pressure or the person in-charge, switching your job might land you in a similar situation. Also, check for the terms of employment and if there is any legal bond involved which will not allow you to quit the job even if you want to. Keep an open eye for job protections like Unions and whether they will come to your rescue (new employee) in case of a problem.
What are you going to add to your experience?
A person who works is continuously looking forward to acquiring new knowledge and shouldering bigger responsibilities. If you are really going to learn something good after getting into a new company that you cannot learn while you are in your current company, then you surely should go ahead with the new job! If you are getting learning opportunities in the current company, you need not change the job as it will help you progress in your career.
What is the salary hike and what will be your duties?
Check out what salary package they are offering you and out of which, how much money you will be getting in hand (after the deduction of certain taxes from the salary). Sometimes the figures of salary package are bloated to give a wrong impression. You also need to think if your current salary is better than the one you have been offered. If there is a negative difference (i.e., if your current salary is better than the one offered to you), then you should give a serious thought before making a shift to a new company. Even if the salary is more, you should understand the expectations from the new organization in terms of work thoroughly before signing on the dotted lines.
Will you be eligible for any future increment in salary? When is it scheduled?
Even if your current salary is less than what you are going to get in the new company, just check if a salary increment is going to take place in the near future from the current employer. If yes, then how soon will you get it? Along with this, you also need to check out, how long it will take for the salary to increase in your new company? This will really help you in making sure that after a certain period in future, you will get a proper salary. If your current company is about to give you a salary hike which would be comparable with the salary offered by the new company and promises that you will eventually get more, then it is better to not take up the new opportunity. (But do make sure that you get the salary hike and other perks on time!)
What are the benefits and perks offered by the new company?
It is important that you take up a job with an organization who is an Equal Opportunities Employer. Benefits like training from reputed institutions, bonus pay, travel plans, health and medical plans, retirement plans and insurance should be offered by the new organization. The new organization should also be fair in giving rewards and awards for performance-driven initiatives.
What are your future prospects with the new company?
Try to figure out if you will get a good opportunity in future (in terms of projects to work on) after you work on the initial project in the new company. Compare it with the future prospects that you have in current company and choose the best one.
Will you achieve a good progression in your career?
Every person wants an upward-growing career graph. At an entry-level position, you may like to learn from scratch, but assuming you already have some experience it will be going back to basics and proving your mettle all over again in the new company. Just calculate your total experience in the current organization and find what role you will get in the new company. If the work you will get is going to be of higher level than your current work, then you can surely go ahead with the new job.
Will you be able to maintain a sound work-life balance in the new job?
Like your career, your personal life is equally important. Understand if the new job will not claim the quality time which you like to spend with your family, friends
and for pursuing leisure activities like traveling, reading, sports, etc. Your new job should enable you to multitask your responsibilities in your professional as well as personal life. Check how many leaves you are entitled for, in your new job. In case of women employees, what is the maternity leave structure? Find out if you could work extra as a compensation, whenever you have to leave your office early (in an emergency).
Job Change Checklist
- Understand the job requirement and your role in the new company.
- Calculate the in-hand salary which you will get per month.
- Check for your position in the organizational hierarchy.
- Understand your growth prospects both in terms of salary and position.
- Understand their recognition and reward scheme.
- Do your homework about the new company and new department.
- Understand the work-culture of the organization and contemplate if you fit in well.
- Check out the Employee Policy of the organization.
- Check out the Health and Safety Policy of the organization.
- Check how much cost and time you will spend in commuting.
- Check for special amenities like health club memberships, medical assistance, etc.
Just a piece of advice before signing off – too much of job hopping on your resume will not create a good impression on the prospective employers. Hence, calculate the pros and cons before taking the decision and you will end up with a better employer. If you are confident that you can do better in the new company, just go ahead!