Questions to Consider When Taking a Job
Are you looking for a new career opportunity? These days, people don’t stick with one employer as long as they used to. If you’re in the job market, what issues should you be considering to be sure that your next step is the right one? The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) offers these tips on what to think about before making a career move.
Decide What You’re Seeking
Interviewing and landing a new job are exciting prospects, but you must also evaluate every job option with your finances and your long-term career in mind. Begin by considering your reasons for seeking a new position. List the considerations that are most important to you — things like salary, new responsibilities, learning opportunities — and rank them in order of priority. Knowing what you want will help you narrow your search.
Get the Big Picture on Benefits
Most people will want their new salary to match or exceed their previous pay, but there are other financial issues to consider. For example, are you aware of the value of the benefits packages associated with each job — including health insurance, retirement plans, paid leave such as vacation and sick time, and disability and other types of insurance? Put together, these benefits represent about 30 percent of an employee’s entire compensation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). If you are changing jobs, make sure to compare your existing benefits package with those in any potential new position. And although a potential employer may offer a retirement or healthcare insurance plan or other benefits, check carefully to see whether they are comparable to those of your current company or if there are differences that will have an impact on your wallet. If you will lose any benefits, it’s worthwhile to calculate how much you would need to spend to replace them on your own.
Consider Base vs. Total
Keep in mind, too, that some jobs offer compensation beyond the base salary, including bonuses and overtime, so you should compare what’s available in a new job to what you have now. Some employers also offer great perks and other advantages. If you’re working for a company that reimburses you for education costs or provides valuable training opportunities, or if they provide on-site childcare or free lunches or snacks, then you should determine what a new job will offer and if losing any of these perks is worth making a change.
Think about Flexibility
Do you enjoy flexible hours or other family-friendly accommodations at your current job? While these programs are popular, they may vary a great deal from organization to organization and job to job. If you depend on a flexible schedule, or if you’re used to a certain level of work/life balance, find out not only the organization’s policy but also your potential supervisor’s attitude toward it.
Where Can I Go from Here?
If you want to advance in your career, it’s important that the organization and your position offer opportunities for professional development. In your interview, ask what kind of career path you can expect and how long it typically takes to move up. Find out what your predecessors in the job are doing now and what kind of training is available to those who want to progress.
Consult Your CPA
If you need help determining the financial implications of a new job — or any life change — your local CPA can help. Remember, you can turn to him or her with all your financial questions.