So, the boss is unpredictable and you don’t have a friend among your co-=workers. Or maybe you’re fed up with the late nights or you’re just bored to tears. Let’s face it, you hate your job. But is that a good enough reason to quit? Consider the following before your write that killer resignation letter:
Unless we’re really lucky, we don’t work for love — we work for cold, hard cash. If you’re pulling in a good salary, will you be able to replicate it at another, more exciting job? Think about some of the lifestyle goodies your income currently provides for. Maybe your great salary buys a ski vacation for the family each winter, or regularly weekly shopping trips to upscale supermarkets. Are you ready to downgrade some of the good stuff for more happiness at work? These are hard questions, to be sure, but worth thinking carefully about before making a move.
It’s worth reviewing your company benefits so that you can make a truly informed decision before accepting a new offer. Many corporations are handing over more and more health insurance premiums to their employees. So if your current firm is still paying the lion’s share of your insurance costs, that’s not just a benefit — it’s extra income. If the job you’re eyeing makes you pay more for your family’s health coverage than you’re paying now, that could be considered a loss of income that might not make a new job worthwhile.
Similarly, does your current job have a wellness program? You may have gym membership discounts, free health coaching, and incentives that lower your insurance premiums. Make sure your new company offers something comparable.
Pensions are almost as scarce as unicorns today, but if your current company has a pension plan, model how you’re doing with it. Check out what your pension would be if you left your job now. What impact will leaving the company right now have on your future income? If you only have a few years left until retirement, it may actually be better to stay out your term for the full benefit.
Check out your 401K plan, as well. If your current company offers a match and the new one doesn’t, that’s more lost money. Also, does the new 401K have an investment option? You may want to check out what securities the new company invests in and even the performance of those funds. Make sure you'll be getting a better deal at your new place.
And while we’re at it, how’s the sick time policy at the place you're eyeing? Does it match the liberal sick policy you have now? Ditto for vacation time. Which job has more? If you’ve accumulated a hefty bank of vacation days, find out what will happen to them. Some companies will pay you for those days in your final paycheck and some will make you forfeit them. If your new job starts you out with a mere two weeks of vacation and you currently have four, that’s an important consideration for you and your family.
With America’s commute time becoming lengthier every year that passes, make sure you know how long your new commute will be and how it compares with your current drive time. If you’re 15 minutes door to door, consider how that 45 minute commute (1.5 hours a day) is going to impact your personal time. And add the additional gasoline and tolls that the change of jobs may bring with it. Or, if you're able to work from home, consider how that will impact your day-to-day.
Thoreau warned us to beware of enterprises that require new clothes. What’s the dress code at your new job? Are you going to have to step it up in the wardrobe department? Do you love wearing sneakers and flip-flops and the new job requires heels and pearls? As a man, will you need a new suit, some ties, and conservative shoes? These considerations may cost you, or you'll discover you prefer your current job's casual ways.
Even though you wouldn’t choose your pod-mates for friends, you may still want to consider the additional perks your job may be offering. Do you like the grounds your company is situated on and enjoy nature-inspired lunchtime strolls? What about the cafeteria — does it offer some great meals or late-afternoon froyo? A free gym membership? Free online counseling? Will you miss any soft benefits you’ve come to enjoy in your current job?
Do you work close to your favorite markets, your bank and your dentist? Maybe your elderly parents live nearby and checking in on them is easier when you are 9-5'ing close by. Also, if the daycare you use is in the vicinity, what will it be like to move your child to a new place and what will it cost? All of these are factors that may end up on the “con” side of the column.
You might still want that shiny, new job, and it very well may be worth it to get outta dodge. Only you can decide. But make sure you hold onto your perspective — you may find that jumping ship is far better than staying with a toxic company culture that doesn’t value you. But if you put it into context, you may see that the job you hate so much may just be the best gig in town. For now.
Donna is a freelance writer with a particular interest in the issues, struggles, loves, and dreams of women. She writes all about it on her blog, alovelyinconsequence.blogspot.com.
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