Updated May 30, 2023
Introduction to Changing Your Job
Gone are the days when a person used to join an organization at the beginning of their career and would retire from it when they reached retirement age. Changing your job is an important decision in one’s life. A wrong move can set you back by a couple of years, or if you are unlucky, you may never be able to return to your career trajectory before this change. However, a correct move can change, put you on a faster course, and take you in the direction where promotions, bonuses, and increments come quickly.
These days’ individuals change jobs every couple of years for varied reasons like
- Higher salary
- More responsibilities
- Healthy work environment (fewer workplace politics, better benefits, etc.)
- Better growth prospects (promotion)
- Being closer to their hometown etc…
Below is a list of Things To Consider While Changing Your Job to avoid making a bad decision.
Things To Consider While Changing Your Job
1. Salary Increase
In more than 90% of the job change cases, an increase in salary is a primary factor motivating the job change.
However, to their dismay, many candidates find that the jump they thought they were getting when they joined is negligible.
A person must be very careful when comparing the salary numbers between the existing and the new company offers. The candidate must look at the benefits and add them to the salary for a final comparison picture.
Given below is a list of benefits that one should consider.
- PF contribution made by the company: Even though you may not be getting this now, it is getting added to your account, and you can withdraw it as per PF rules. Some companies reduce this amount to show a higher take-home figure.
- Five days working Versus Six days working: If you work six days a week, you are working for 52 extra days in a year compared to someone working only five days a week. This equals around 2.5 months of extra (20%) work per year. So when you shift from a company that has five days a week to one that has six days a week, you are getting a 30% increase. Be aware that your actual increase is only 10%, and the balance 20% increase is for the extra hours you will put in.
- Leaves: Different companies have different leave policies, and you need to understand what the company offers. Multinational companies typically have 12-14 Holidays in a year, plus you get around 20-22 paid leaves. You also get up to 10 days of sick leaves. Additionally, multinational companies will not count Saturday and Sunday as leave if you have taken a long break over the weekends. Smaller companies tend to have very restrictive leave policies and would probably offer half the days compared to Multinational companies.
- Hidden benefits: Companies can have hidden benefits like maternity leaves, marriage leaves, etc., soft loans for purchasing a car or house, free parking, subsidized lunch or snacks, annual gifts, liberal bonuses, clubs, gymnasiums, etc.
- Salary Structure: Indian companies are a lot more flexible around the salary system, and they can modify the structure to reduce the overall tax outflow for a candidate. Lower tax outflow means higher take-home pay, and candidates need to consider the “Net Salary after Taxes” when comparing the salaries of two companies.
- Variable Pay: Many new-age companies include 100% of eligible variable pay as part of the salary. However, in reality, very few candidates earn 100% of this, and for others, this reduces their monthly payment.
To summarize, do not compare the numbers mentioned in your offer letter with your current salary; add the above benefits to arrive at a true comparison.
2. Location of the New Workplace
This is one area where many candidates make an error in judgment since it is not directly related to their work. There are two aspects of the location that one needs to consider
- Time to Commute: In most cities, travel time has increased drastically. Hence, a person needs to be clear about how much extra travel time they will have to put in. At times the candidate gets a false sense of the time required as they have traveled and reached the office during non-peak times during their interviews, making them think that the travel is manageable. Also, travel time tends to increase by over 50% during monsoons in most Indian cities. Travel time is not an issue with most candidates when they join a new job career as there is enthusiasm for the newness of changing your job fields. However, over some time, when the excitement wears off, long travel time becomes one of the major reasons for stress. Commute time ideally should be less than half an hour, and a person needs to think things through if the commute time is more than an hour.
- Different City: Sometimes, a person gets a better job offer in a location that is not where they are currently staying. While the offer may look good on paper (30-50% salary increase), the candidate needs to consider the following. Evaluate the extra cost they would incur by taking this move. E.g., if the candidate’s family cannot move with them, then there will be the additional cost of running two houses and the cost of travel which may eat away all the extra money the person will earn.
- The ability of the family to adjust to the new city: Again, at times, people overestimate the ability of their families to adapt to the new town. Settling in a new city can be an uphill and lonely journey without backup from parents and relatives in the hometown. I have seen candidates quitting their new job because their families could not settle down in new locations.
To summarize, logistics around commute and location are important factors that will impact your “overall happiness” with the new changing your job and should go through thorough research.
3. Future Growth
Several candidates had already changed two or three changing jobs. When asked the question, “Why did they leave their previous job?” the answer is typically for “better growth,” and when questioned about the reason for wanting to leave their current job, the answer is again the same “better growth”.
However, given an opportunity to ask questions during an interview, they do not ask a single question related to growth opportunities in the job they are interviewing for.
It means they will accept the current job without understanding what’s in it for them. And chances are that they will be disappointed and again back in the market after 2-3 years, looking for a job that offers “better growth.”
To summarize, all the candidates need to understand the new job’s growth opportunities and ensure that it aligns with their needs before accepting the new offer.
4. Working Style of Manager
People do not leave organizations; they leave their managers. Your manager will be the most important person in your organizational life, and they can make changing your job a “heaven” or a “hell”.
Hence, it is very important to understand your manager’s working styles and values. You should only opt to work with managers when their working style value system complements yours.
You can get to know about your manager’s working style by asking them specific questions about their style during the interview (you can ask these questions when the interviewer asks you, “Do you want to ask any questions?”) or by asking friends/colleagues, etc. who may have worked with him.
You can also request the interviewer that you would like to speak to some of the team members before accepting the offer, and many companies would allow you to have this discussion. Meeting and talking to team members will give you a good idea about your new boss.
So check the working style of your new manager and ensure that you only accept the job offer if his working style complements yours.
5. Financial Stability of the New Organization
In 2008, one of my ex-colleagues, who was doing very well in his organization then, was headhunted by a start-up with a fancy designation and a huge jump in salary.
However, the financial crisis hit the world economy soon after his joining the new organization. The funding for the Start-up dried up, and the company had to close down, and my friend was without a changing job.
Even though it’s been five-plus years since that event, my friend has not been able to get back to that level in his career where he was in 2008.
In the current scenario, start-ups and e-commerce companies are flush with funds and are selling a dollar for seventy-five cents to garner customers. It is just a matter of time before some of them will have to wind up their operations if the economy were to take a downswing.
This applies to new-age companies, but several well-established companies, like the Sahara Group, Yash Birla Group, etc., face financial difficulties, and employee salaries get delayed.
Hence it’s very important while changing your job to check the financial stability of the new organization.
Many new-age companies require their employees to work in shifts to support different time zones.
Candidates who have not worked in shifts cannot visualize the impact of working in shifts. The candidates must understand the hardships associated when you work in shifts and carry a check to see if they have an ecosystem that supports such work hours.
E.g., if you are in Mumbai and are getting a job to support the US time zones, you need to have accommodation where you can go and sleep during the day. If you do not have a room in the apartment, you will find that you cannot get good quality sleep at home. And in a few months, your body’s resistivity starts falling, and you will often fall sick.
Also, if a husband and wife work in different time zones, they cannot get time to spend with each other, increasing stress levels.
Working in shifts is not everyone’s cup of tea, and the candidate needs to be careful while accepting a job that requires shift work.
7. Market Value of the Experience
Your salary is like an iceberg, and it has two portions. The visible portion, around one-third, is the money you get in the bank every month. The experience you are getting is the two-thirds invisible portion under the sea.
Candidates often get a high jump (over 100%) when they change jobs. While this increase is good, candidates must also see whether a constant value add is happening to them.
Typically these sorts of jumps are given to candidates from large multinational companies when they join smaller start-ups or Indian companies. However, the candidates later find that learning in their new organization is minimal. They cannot move back to established companies after a couple of years of experience in these organizations.
This point is very important when getting a job abroad, typically in Gulf or African countries. The perks offered to look very attractive, but on closer scrutiny of most of the roles, especially in Finance and Sales/marketing areas, one finds that the market value of that experience is nil. After spending a couple of years in these countries, finding a good job in India is extremely difficult.
Remember, value add to you in terms of quality of experience is as important or more important than the salary you get at the end of the month. Therefore, always check the quality of experience you will get in the new job.
8. Notice Period
While this may seem trivial, one realizes this point is important when looking for a change again.
Some organizations now have three or more months of the notice period. When you are looking for a job, you will find that the new organization is not ready to roll out an offer because it cannot wait three months (or more) for you to join.
Rule of thumb – avoid accepting jobs with more than 60 days of the notice period.
9. Work Culture
Different organizations have different work cultures, and it’s better to understand the work culture. Before accepting the role, check whether one is comfortable working in such a culture.
In the case of senior profiles, the work culture becomes very important as someone who has spent a substantial number of years in a particular type of work culture will find it difficult to work in a different culture. The business papers are replete with news of CXOs leaving their new organizations as they could not fit into the culture of a news organization.
Only join companies that have a work culture that you feel comfortable with.
10. Extra-curricular Activities:
Suppose you are one of the persons who love to participate in extra-curricular activities like CSR or sports or other such events. In that case, it’s important to get a better idea about the extra-curricular activities available in the new organization, and only if the interests match, then take a call.
I am aware of a few cases where the employees who were very active in the CSR work in their previous organization felt a lack of job satisfaction in their new organization. Because it did not have an active CSR function in which they could participate.
To summarize, changing your job fields is an important decision in your personal life. Any mistake here impacts you and your near and dear ones. It is therefore important to take utmost care while deciding on changing your job. If you consider the above points, you will be able to improve your chances of making the right decision substantially.
This article has been a guide if you’re in your career-changing job phase. These are the following links related to changing your job.