You nailed it: Applied. Interviewed. Got the offer. Now it’s decision time. Before you decide to leave your current employer, make sure the new gig fits your needs and lifestyle.
Today’s fast-changing business climate has new companies popping up in many areas, especially the technology sector. They also can drop out as fast as they popped up. Take some time to learn about the stability and reputation of your prospective employer, and compare with your current employer. How long has the company been around? What is the company’s reputation? What is the ownership structure? In the digital age, just a few mouse clicks can give you a vast amount of information on just about any business or organization.
Reputation and Perception
Check out reviews on sites where current and former employees present their observations about their organization and its management and culture. Social media networking sites can also provide insight to potential pros and cons. Excessive venting could be a red flag, but it shouldn’t be the final decision-maker. Know what you’re getting into from the start, and you won’t be left wondering what to do next.
Understand the Job Basics
Get a clear understanding of expectations. Some of these items may have been covered during the interview process; if not, you’ll want to ask them now:
- When will you start? You’ll want to be sure to give your current employer enough notice or make sure you have time to relocate if you’ll be moving.
- What are the typical hours for someone in this position? Is there flexibility in the hours or working from home? Consider how these hours differ from those for your current job.
- How will you be paid—every two weeks, once a month, twice a month?
- How is paid time off accrued? What are the company-paid holidays?
- Is there potential for bonuses?
- How often will your performance be reviewed and compensation adjusted?
Delve Into the Benefits Package
A higher salary may not tell the full story if benefits are less comprehensive or more expensive than your current package. Consider the overall benefits package:
How are the health benefits?
- How good is the coverage, what does it cover and what are the co-pays?
- How much does the employer pay, and what are employee costs toward the premium?
- When does coverage begin for new employees?
- Are there health coverage options to choose from?
- Can you include dependents on your policy?
- Are dental and vision covered?
- Is there a health club discount?
Is there a retirement program?
- Does the company offer a retirement plan? Is there a match? How long does it take to become fully vested?
- Is there a pension program? If so, what is it, and how much is put away annually?
- Does the company offer profit-sharing? If so, what is the percentage?
What other insurance programs are offered?
- Is life insurance part of the package? If so, how much, and can you opt into a better policy and pay a bit more?
- What about accidental death or disability insurance?
- Is business travel insurance included?
- Are there additional benefits or perks to consider?
- Do they offer paid or unpaid maternity, paternity or adoption leave?
- Does the employer offer tuition reimbursement?
- Any other benefits to consider? These might include an on-site gym, free or discounted goods or services, or free snacks during the workday.
A change in employment may also mean a change in commute, forgoing incentives through your current employer (such as the full company retirement match if you’re not yet vested) and possibly even paying your employer back for relocation or tuition expenses if you leave before an agreed-upon amount of time. Weigh the financial pros and cons, as well as future growth opportunities at both companies, before you accept.