The grass is always greener on the other side. This is true in every facet of life, and employment is no exception to the rule. Employees tend to think that their lives would be much better is they just had more money, a better boss, a shorter commute – the list goes on.
Some people do have terrible jobs with horrendous bosses and hideously low wages. And these people definitely need to change jobs, sooner than later. However, many employees may be looking at their employment situation subjectively.
For example, if the desire for a larger salary based on your inability to manage your money, you might just end up making more money but being deeper in debt. You’ll have a nicer house and a newer car, but you’ll soon need an even better job to keep your head above water.
Some people have issues with their bosses. Yes, some managers may be the spawn of satan, but employees are not always innocent. Is it possible that you don’t see your role in the conflict with your boss? While you may think that you’re working hard, is it possible that you’re the person always standing around the coffee pot or the water cooler? Do you have more personal phone calls than the rest of your colleagues? Are you reading stories on the Internet when you should be working?
If so, then you’ll have problems wherever you work because your idea of what constitutes “hard work” is shared by less than 0.0001 percent of managers and other bosses.
However, you may be a good, or even excellent employee, but you may have unrealistic expectations regarding your job. Before you take the leap, thinking that the grass is always greener on the other side, you need to weigh the pros and cons of changing jobs.
Last Hired, First Fired
The major drawback in being the new kid on the block is the vulnerable position you will be placed in if the company takes a turn for the worse and needs to lay off workers. Ideally, a company would only be hiring employees because it is experiencing economic growth.
However, this is not always the case. Sometimes employees know that a company is performing poorly financially and they begin to jump off the sinking ship. However, if the ship is sinking slowly, companies will still hire workers to fill these voids.
As a result, you may end up accepting a position with a company that may or may not survive past the next few years, and even if it does, the company may struggle financially and need to lay off more workers. And if you were one of the last people hired, there’s a good chance that you will be one of the first workers laid off.
Low Man/Woman On The Totem Pole
In addition to the risk of being the last hired and the first fired, new employees are also at the bottom of the totem pole. Depending on the type of company you work for, this could mean that you would be the person who has to work all major holidays, or work on weekends.
If you’re the type of person who always goes to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving or hosts the 4th of July cookout, this may throw a wrench in your plans. For some people, it’s not a big deal, but if you’re the type of person who values the ability to spend holidays with your family, it’s something to consider.
Also, as the new person, you will likely be at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of vacation days. Some companies don’t give vacation days the first year. Even for those that do, vacation time is usually based on seniority. So instead of taking two weeks off in July to vacation with the family at Disneyland, you may have to wait until everyone has chosen their vacation time first. And as a result, you may be scheduling your “summer” vacation for the first week in February.
An increase in salary is a good reason to change jobs. However, there are other factors that you need to weigh in relation to income. First, have you considered asking your present boss for a raise? Are there other positions within your company that you could apply for which would increase your salary? Would it be easier for you to develop more on-the-job skills, which could place you in a better position to get a salary at your current company?
If not, then you also need to determine exactly how much a new job would increase your income, which may not be as simple as looking at the dollar amount. For example, different companies have different compensation packages. Will the amount you pay in insurance coverage be the same, less, or more than you are paying with your present company? Some companies require their employees to contribute significantly more for their health coverage, and if you end up paying $100 more each month – and possibly several hundred dollars more for family coverage - will the salary still seem lucrative?
Also, consider transportation costs. If your new job is further away from your home, your transportation costs will increase. Also, does your new employer provide free parking for employees, or will you need to fend for yourself. Depending on the parking situation, you may have to pay a third party a monthly amount for parking, which can be a hefty amount.
While many employees want to change their employment situations, ironically, some of them also expect retain certain aspects. For example, you may be accustomed to arriving to work late, and it may be acceptable for you to call in and say, “Hey, I’m going to stop by and do XYZ before I get to work.” However, a new employer may find this totally unacceptable and accept you to arrive at work at the set time every day.
You may also be accustomed to taking long lunches to run errands, taking a late lunch to pick up your kids from school, or even having the ability to bring your kids back to work with you for the rest of the day. Again, do no assume that a new employer will be comfortable with this arrangement.
While you may not be happy with many aspects of your present job, before changing jobs, be sure to weigh all of the pros and cons before taking the leap to ensure that you’re not leaping from the frying pan into the fire.