Pondering a Career Move? Consider These Points First

May 22, 2017

MoneyLife100Are 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, there are issues you must consider to be sure that your next step is the right one. The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) offers these tips on what to think about before making a career move. 

Decide What You’re Seeking 

Interviewing and landing a new job is an exciting prospect, but you must evaluate every job option with your finances and long-term career in mind. Begin by considering your reasons for seeking a new position. List those that are most important to you. These may include salary, new responsibilities, learning opportunities that could contribute to long-term growth, or even outside factors that can impact your decision like marriage or parenthood. Next, rank the considerations 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. If you are changing jobs, make sure to compare your existing benefits package with those in any potential new position. A potential employer may offer retirement and health care insurance plans or other benefits, but check carefully to see whether they are comparable to those you currently receive; and if there are differences, what will be the 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

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 onsite 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? These programs 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 the new organization’s policy as well as 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. To find a CPA in your area or for more financial tips, visit www.picpa.org/moneyandlife.
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