A new job with a high salary can seem like a win-win. But before you commit to accepting a job offer, consider these four questions.
Maybe you were looking for a new job, maybe you weren’t. In either case, you suddenly find yourself staring at an offer letter that includes a salary much higher than you expected.
Instantly, thoughts of a fancy new car and bigger house begin to race through your head. You could finally afford that purse that everyone seems to carry, or that new suit from the Italian designer whose name you can’t pronounce.
As fun as it is to fantasize, it’s important to shake those visions from your retinas and return to reality before deciding on your next move. Accepting a new position based on the salary alone is an ill-advised plan.
While we all need money, you still have to examine the situation completely to ensure that the sweetness of the offer today doesn’t result in a sour taste tomorrow.
Here are some points you should consider: (Click here to tweet this main points.)
Does the offer support your career goals?
Sure, the salary looks great today, but is this new position in line with your long-term career goals? Think of the charts that are used to show the long-term value of a college education. At first the high-school graduate is ahead, earning a living and buying new cars while the college student lives a meager life.
Fast forward 10 years, and the high-school-only salaries typically level off, while those with a college degree continue to earn at a higher level.
Simply put, is this new job benefitting your career, or is it a dead end?
Does the work mean more to you than the job title?
A big boost in salary often comes with a new flashy title. Everyone wants to be proud of the work they do, but being able to tell everyone that you’re the Chief Visionary Officer won’t mean much if you aren’t passionate about the job.
I still occasionally long to have the title of “Chief Personnel Officer,” yet I know in my heart that I’m happiest in the world of talent management and recruitment, as a subset of the larger human resources arena.
Does the work environment fit your style?
I’m a huge proponent for candidates researching the organizations where they are seeking to land careers. Use all available resources to ensure that the new culture is one in which you’ll thrive — including internet searches, using your network to speak with current employees, and asking the right questions during interviews.
Spending your days toiling at an organization filled with corrupt colleagues or a superior who makes Josef Stalin’s iron fist seem like the hand of a babe may trump those extra Benjamins on your check each month.
If the job requires lifestyle changes, are you willing to sacrifice?
As much as we’d like to keep our work and personal lives separate, it’s common for them to overlap. How much of your personal time are you willing to give to make this job work?
Whether it’s an extra-long commute, increased travel, or the expectation of night and evening work, a high-salary job may also come with high expectations regarding your time commitment. Even if you’re making enough money to afford a better lifestyle, you may not have much time to enjoy it.
That old adage that money can’t buy you happiness tends to hold true. In the United States, we spend around one-third of our life working. While the value of that new car or house can be easily quantified, how much value do you place on your happiness?
Michelle Kruse has helped countless job-seekers find success as the Editor and Content Manager at ResumeEdge. With more than 10 years of experience recruiting for companies like Novartis and IBM, she knows firsthand what recruiters are looking for; and she shares that insight with those who need it most.