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What to Consider When Changing Jobs

How to Evaluate a Job Offer

If you're considering leaving your job because the compensation isn't great and there's no room for negotiation on that front, there's no doubt the salary will play as a deal-maker or breaker when evaluating a new offer. Coming from a pay raise dry spell can cause a money-hungry job-seeker to take any decent job that pays more, but you need to evaluate the entire job offer before jumping aboard. Yes, salary is a priority, but there are several other factors that play into your overall compensation and should be accounted for when you're staring at that offer letter. Find out what should be on your mental checklist when you

The biggest element of your total compensation outside of your salary is your benefits package. Your benefits add up to thousands of dollars a year that, since we're not paying for up-front, aren't necessarily on the forefront of our minds. And if you're a generally healthy individual without dependents, it's easy to overlook the real value that your benefits actually add. Take a look at actual numbers: What do you contribute for health benefits as an employee at your current company, compared to what you'd be contributing at the new one? Which company is more generous with paid time off?

While it may not seem like it at first, benefits are about numbers just like your salary. You may find that the benefits at your current job are superior to those being offered to you. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take the new job, it just means that you have solid material to negotiate. Numbers are difficult to argue and you need to make the job change completely worth it. And if the new job won't increase the offered salary to compensate for a less generous benefits package, try negotiating for more paid time off.

Other important details to consider are location, commute time, cost of commute, expected hours in the office, and 401(k) matching. And of course, ideally the job should be something that you can see yourself doing everyday with potential for growth. After weighing all of these aspects against each other, simply make the decision that makes the most sense for you.


Join The Conversation
amyonedge amyonedge 9 years
I recently moved to a new position that actually meant a small pay cut, but it was totally worth it. The benefits are comparable, I spend much less time in the office every week, I have a shorter commute with no traffic, and I love the people I work with. For me, there were many non-monetary issues to consider before leaving my old job.
workinggirl83 workinggirl83 9 years
I think I am about to be promoted to a higher position at my current job. I made a bad decision of taking a salary way lower than what I should have for the position I have now just so I could leave a job I hated. My recommendation is find out how their raise/bonus structure works after you sign on. If your boss can easily give you a raise within the year after you start and it is just a bureaucracy thing preventing them from starting you out with more money then take the job and try to get the highest bonus/raise every year. unfotunately my company does not give bonuses and the raises have a 5-6% cap, hence my eagerness to search for a new position!
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
In my former job, my boss was a real a-hole. When I asked for a higher salary when I was hired (I was over-qualified), he said something like "well the benefits package adds up to about $30,000 so you should be lucky." I don't think benefits should make a difference on base salary.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I have been interviewing quite since January and if you are considering a relocation you really need to make sure that the package they are offering is worth your while. I was very excited by a company I interviewed with on Monday only to find out the salary was not going to be much more or equal to what I am making now and to move across the country it really needed to be a lot better. I did already have one offer working for someone that I really like but knew I would regret not going to the interview back East.
gemsera gemsera 9 years
One additional important thing I have found is you really need to work out what type of company ethos you enjoy working with. I have found the working in a large company is not for me and I constantly feel frustrated in the workplace - feeling just like a number. However for others that may be beneficial, they may enjoy the autonomy of working for a large company. If you are using any recruiters to help you get the next job its important they are aware of where you work best - a big company can offer the same rewards as a smaller company but happiness plays a huge role in life satisfaction.
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