Before you look for a new job, ask yourself this crucial question.
Far too often, a job seeker never stops to think about the hard fact of being an employee – how much your job actually costs you both directly and indirectly.
Some of these costs are obvious and direct, such as the cost of health insurance. Sometimes though, the costs are overlooked when considering a new job.
The question you have to ask before you take a new job is this: what is the TOTAL cost of how and where you work?
To get started, add it all up. Here are some things you might have overlooked.
There are costs if you go to an office
+ Commute costs (car wear-and-tear, gas, parking)
+ Food (if you take your lunch)
+ The amount of personal time it takes to get to and from
There are costs if you work remotely, either primarily or as an option:
+ Internet service
+ Quality ergonomic office furniture (bad chairs- ugh!)
+ home office equipment like printer, computer, webcam, etc.
Some costs don’t seem like costs, but you’re leaving money on the table.
+ Not participating in your 401k/403b if there is a match
+ Health Savings Accounts for tax sheltering medical expenses
+ Finding the most effective health plan for your age/lifestyle
+ Tuition reimbursement
+ Employee assistance programs
The costs can come in the form of an impact on your health. The environment and type of work you do matters as well.
+ Physical health – This is pretty self-explanatory. Regardless if you do manual or mental labor, overwork takes its toll.
+ Social health – more time at the office means less with spouse, family, pets, friends, and recreation.
+ Mental health – This one is huge! If you have a lousy boss, are mind-numbingly bored, or cannot stand your stinkin’ job to the point you want to scream, then you’ve got an issue to address. These emotional states are enormous red flags, so don’t ignore them.
Finally, there’s the cost to your long-term career.
If you’ve stayed in the same position…
- with no promotion
- with no regular progress or salary/title increases
- don’t develop the habit of lifelong learning
- don’t have a plan on where you’re going to
- don’t keep track of your career in any way
… you’re probably not going to avoid regret today, but at some point, you will.
So, what’s the answer?
Is everything just hopeless?
Thankfully, it is absolutely NOT hopeless!
It takes effort and practice but committing to doing better going forward by knowing the answers to these questions will give you the foundation for a better future.
PS- once you get a total cost for your current job, keep it handy and update it regularly. You might find that ‘safe’ job is actually costing you more than you know.