Many people see the new year as a chance to scout for new jobs, and hopefully one with higher pay and better advancement opportunities. When the job offer does come, the first instinct is to sign—’Yes, I got the job!’ or “Finally, they gave me a promotion!”
But wait. Higher pay and position doesn’t necessarily mean that a job is ‘better’ than the one you have one now. Here are some important life tips for weighing a job offer.
Is the pay increase enough to compensate for the new levels of stress?
A perpetually screaming new boss who gives you skin rashes every single time he screams and a much higher sales quota in a depressed market that makes meeting your targets next to impossible may not be worth the salary increase. The incremental increase may not be worth the sleepless nights or the new medicines you now have to take.
Will I be happy in the company culture?
We all have our individual quirks. Some prefer flexible hours and a liberal atmosphere where they are allowed to literally scream our heads off or surf the Internet until they stumble on to their next big idea. Others thrive in a stricter and more structured environment.
Compatibility is the key. A circle can’t fit in a square peg, and trying to adjust to a culture that totally goes against your style and preferences could be shattering, both to you and the company. To blossom on the job, you need to be able to take root in the soil that would nurture your dreams and hopes, aside from your financial needs.
Can I deliver on the new expectations?
A higher offer often means greater demands: higher sales targets, longer hours, more responsibilities, etc. Ask yourself if you want to and can meet these new challenges.
Does it support your life goals and work life balance?
If you and your husband are planning for a new baby, does the new company have systems in place that can allow you to go on maternity leave when the rabbit test finally signals positive? Would the company be supportive of your plans to take graduate studies? If you’re a health buff, a medical card with a higher premium and free gym membership would be attractive.
Does it lead you towards your long term goals?
Why accept bigger bucks for work in a bank when your ultimate career goal is to teach overseas—and you can get the needed credentials in your current if low-paying job as a college professor. On the other hand, a multi-national IT company that has regional branches might prove to be the right training ground if you want to pursue a career in international marketing.
There are no easy answers, and it would be wise to look before you leap. Do a little homework and ask friends, colleagues, ex-bosses about this new company that is courting you. Dig up the pros and cons. Listen to the experiences, both good and bad, of past and present employees. Know what you’re getting into.
Photo from passionflowerlifecoaching.co.uk