With the year-end looming, many of us are assessing our career prospects and considering whether this may be an appropriate time for a job change. You may feel stifled in your current position, reluctant to return to the office after working from home, or fed up with difficult work relationships and micro-managers. Perhaps you’re ready for new challenges and opportunities to earn more, upskill and build your professional network.
Changing jobs is a major decision, however. Its impact goes far beyond the workplace and the lure of a higher salary.
Before quitting your job, do your homework and consider factors such as your prospective new employer’s work benefits, potential workload, and skills development opportunities.
You may be enticed by a higher salary, but keep in mind that this could entail moving into a higher tax bracket, a longer commute, or less downtime with family and friends. It’s vital to consider multiple factors before giving notice.
Instead of a job change, you may need a holiday to regain perspective. Identify the reasons for your dissatisfaction, and make a decision when you feel relaxed and refreshed.
Consider your long-term personal and career goals - and determine if the new job aligns with them. Consult a mentor or trusted adviser to make an informed decision.
Review the fine print in your current job contract. Take into account restrictions such as restraint-of-trade agreements barring you from working for a competing company or with current customers for a set period.
Review the overall compensation package on offer including medical aid, retirement benefits, bonuses, company shares, and perks such as an in-house gym. It’s advisable to consult a financial planner when making this assessment.
Research your prospective employer’s culture. Search for information on the company website, read media articles, and check social media reviews.
Consult a tax professional to ensure you’re up to date with tax laws, particularly if you’re considering moving overseas.
Evaluate the expected workload and work hours. Will longer hours and extensive travel affect your personal life?
What new skills and experiences do you stand to gain? Does the company fund or reimburse further studies?
How stable is the new company and the sector in which it operates?
Ensure you can cover your living expenses for at least three months. You may incur unexpected costs in a new job, it may not meet your expectations, or you could be retrenched.
However, it is not advisable to cash in your retirement fund. Rather transfer your payout to a retirement annuity, your new company’s fund, or a preservation fund.
Taking the time to review these factors carefully will help you make a well-informed decision that aligns with your long-term financial goals and overall wellbeing. You should then stand a better chance of improving your standard of living, with fewer drawbacks.
* Anthony is marketing manager at JustMoney.co.za