COVID-19 has taken all of us off guard. The shock of the coronavirus pandemic has made planning for the future extremely difficult because of all the uncertainties. This is particularly true especially for major decisions like a career move.
When the economy and job market are stable, it is easy to explore and assume that the grass is greener on the other side. But with the pandemic, you will think that still having a job is a blessing as you see the unemployment rate rising and several companies closing. However, even in this situation, staying put may not be necessarily the best possible strategy. If you work in a sector that has been badly impacted and may take some time to recover, this is a good time to think of making a change. Many companies are hiring right now, so there are good opportunities out there.
Think about it, at this time there is less competition since most are reluctant to leave their current work. By the time that we get near to “normal”, there will be more job seekers. At the same time, this situation we are in now makes us all adapt to change. Nothing is certain anyway, so it is better to be proactive now.
There will always be a risk involved when changing employers. You can weigh your options and make a more confident choice by considering some important factors. Here are some key considerations you might want to think about.
This has become a trend since the pandemic hit us. Most companies offered a work-from-home set-up starting last year, especially for locations on lockdown.
You might want a work-from-home arrangement if you have a chronic health issue and want to stay safe at home, have challenges in transportation, or family commitments.
As the saying goes, health is wealth! More than ever, a company that invests in the health of its employees is a good catch.
Before accepting an offer, know the health coverage that the company gives. Will they be paying the monthly premium for the health insurance? Do they also cover the employee’s dependents?
Who would want to leave their current work only to be laid off months later? Before switching companies, investigate your prospective employer first. You may do so by researching on the internet, reading the newspaper, or in business journals. If you have friends in the same industry, you may ask them as well.
Paid Time Off
You will be surprised that some companies are not as generous in terms of paid time off. Check with your prospect employer their paid time off policy such as vacation leaves, sick leaves, holidays, and parental leave. You might also want to ask about their maternity leave if you are planning to have kids soon.
Room For Advancement
If you are searching for long-term employment, it is important to consider if there is room to grow. Big companies may be able to give you more chances of being promoted to another position as compared to small companies where room for advancement may be limited.
Retirement Package and Stock Options
Another thing to consider if you want long-term employment is their retirement package and stock options. This will make your stay in the company worthwhile. Some companies have a graded vesting schedule wherein every year, you earn a certain percentage of the employer contributions. Others use a cliff vesting schedule wherein you have to work there for a certain number of years to be eligible for a 100% of the employer’s contributions.
Some companies also offer stock options to their employees. Employees with a stock purchase plan can buy company stock at a discounted price and resell it later for a profit.
Company culture and colleagues
As much as benefits are important, you also need to consider the company culture and your future colleagues in your prospect employer. The general work environment is something often neglected but plays a vital role in your job satisfaction.
You may ask how the company is taking care of their employees, are there people programs and fun initiatives in place? Do you think you will get along with the people that you will be working with?
Use your intuition
Lastly, if you have considered all the factors listed above but are still not comfortable with the new job offer, do not hesitate to back out. Your intuition may be telling you something important. As Oprah Winfrey said, follow your instincts. That is where true wisdom manifests itself.