There are many things to consider when deciding whether to take on a new job, especially when money is the main factor for the transition. While it may seem as easy as one job having a higher hourly rate or annual salary than another, things may not be that black and white. Read on for a few things to consider when deciding whether to switch from one job to another.
Increased pay could mean increased responsibility, and while some people thrive on higher levels of responsibility in the workplace, you should take a hard look at yourself and what will really make you happy. When supervisory duties are part of your new gig, you can rest assured that some drama will be involved as you take on managing not only your employee’s work, but their personal issues, as well. Being a supervisor brings its own headaches, and if you are talking about a 5 or 10 percent pay raise, you may find it isn’t worth the headache.
Moving from a non-exempt positon to an exempt position
Once you are in an exempt position (as many people in supervisory and management positions are), things such as overtime and an hourly rate no longer apply to you. This means that, although your salary may go up, you may also take on additional hours, thus making your ‘hourly rate’ actually lower. Talk to others in similar positions about expectations at supervisory/management levels if you are transitioning within to a higher position within your organization. For a position in a new organization, it may be a good idea to set out expectations for time spent ‘on the clock’ up front. For more information on exempt and non-exempt positions, visit: http://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/whats-the-difference-between-exempt
A longer commute
The average commute in the United States is under 30 minutes (but is obviously longer if you are in a larger metro area). Once you get beyond that, though, it may make sense for you to consider the time spent commuting as part of your work day and thus include those hours when determining what your hourly rate is. For example, if you earn $25 an hour and work 8 hours a day, but have two hours of commuting a day, you may want to consider it a ten-hour day (which would make the hourly rate actually $20). Let’s face it, those are hours spent away from home and when you are unable to handle your family obligations.
Decreased flexibility for working from home
One benefit of my job is that I can work from home some days. While I have a very long commute on the days I go in to the office, it is somewhat offset by those days I can work from home. Think about your specific needs at this point in your life. The ability to work from home may allow you to more easily handle other obligations, such as picking up kids from daycare or school. And it is a benefit that may go away as you take on more responsibility or move to a higher level position.
When I was in the military, an annual statement was sent out to active duty personnel, showing their benefits and how they added up to a larger salary, based on their monetary value. When I looked at that statement, it made me realize just how much the military provided and how I couldn’t simply compare my military base salary to that of a regular civilian job. Consider things such as how much of your health plan is covered by the employer and whether they match 401K contributions. There are now employers that cover expenses of pursuing a degree, so even that could be a decided factor for whether to stay at or leave a job, especially if you have plans to return to school in the near future.
This could include annual leave, sick leave, and holidays, among other things. The Federal government, for example, provides 10 paid holidays per year. That’s basically like getting an extra 2 weeks of paid leave. Depending on the job, there can be quite a difference in how much leave you earn. Make sure you know this up front. If you plan to have more children, it may also be a good idea to (discretely) inquire about maternity leave. See this informative article on family leave laws for more information: http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-life/maternity-paternity-leave/maternity-leave-rights/.
For a slightly more statistical view on this topic, here’s an article on the dilemma of choosing time or money.
NOTE: All opinions in this article are my own and are not meant as legal advice. If you need assistance with specific employment issues, including your rights during pregnancy and maternity leave, you may want to consult an attorney in your state who focuses on employment law.