Maybe your lucky enough to have gotten an offer for a new job opportunity that has extra perks like this:
Seems like an easy choice, right?
Most job seekers know the websites and tools available online to understand a job offer’s basics in this day and age. Candidates know that they need to research competitive salary information, potential commuting costs, opinions of trusted friends, close colleagues, or even social media groups and then weigh it all into consideration.
We found this great quote from a Washington Post article on the cost of not going a little deeper in your research regarding your job offer:
“Often, when people move, they have no idea what the overall cost is,” says Kristen Robinson, senior vice president of Fidelity Investments’ Women & Young Investors unit.
“They’re just looking at the salary increase and thinking, ‘wow, I’m making 10,000 more a year.'”Jonnelle Marte, Washington Post, Finance Reporter
Most people don’t think about the hidden costs and get caught up in the excitement of the salary jump. If this new job opportunity requires moving, it can be hard to calculate the moving fees, new home prices or market rents (and rental availability), and the general cost of living in a location different from the one you’re in now.
Outside of the hidden costs in relocating, other overlooked costs also play into your new job offer.
Although you may be making more annually on paper, the losses you may incur in the process of switching a job or relocating for the job could quickly reverse that offer’s luster.
More often than not, it is worth it. However, even when it seems like a no-brainer, doing a little personal work will give you more confidence in your decision or, in rare cases, present the reasons why it’s not in your interests to make the change.
There’s a business methodology proven to cut to the heart of any planning process. The ARRA team will recommend it to job seekers facing job offer dilemmas to help them move through this consideration phase with confidence; the SWOT analysis.
If you just answered, “never,” you’re in the majority, so don’t sweat it. However, if you’d like to gain some personal insight and better guide your personal, professional, or financial goals, listen in.
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. You may have used this exercise in a college business class, in a business role, or in the past to manage overall health and future plans appropriately. Tweaking its classic use case and running the exercise on yourself or a job opportunity can be extremely useful and even insightful.
We recommend exercising a personal SWOT first, and then, you can apply these learnings about yourself into a SWOT on, say, a job opportunity more easily. After you create a personal SWOT analysis, you could quickly move into running SWOTs on things like deciding a potential lifestyle change, moving to a new place (with or without a job), or evaluating a new hobby.
You should now have a “quadrant” or four fields. Label each quadrant from left to right: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
First, list your own personal strengths in terms of your profession. What do you excel at? What part of your job do you most enjoy? What comes easiest? If you’re struggling, you can ask your partner or a good colleague or friend to get your mind working in the right direction.
Next, to analyze the job opportunity, list strengths such as the salary (if it’s better than the one you have), the perks, opportunities for career growth, personal development, and all of the best qualities about the job that you find appealing.
In terms of your professional weaknesses for your personal SWOT, consider:
For your new role, think about drawbacks such as:
The opportunities category is created by listing opportunities for your strengths to overcome the weakness and develop a strategy to move forward.
In a Job SWOT analysis, a strength may be that the salary offered is fantastic, but the weakness is that the moving costs are too high and the cost of living in this new city is almost 2x what you pay now.
Opportunity: negotiate the value of the move to put the onus on the employer.
Strategy: Work the cost estimates you know in relocating and the potential cost of living increases that would come from your pocket and present these challenges to your future employer.
In a SWOT analysis, “threats” are inherently external: these are the things that are out of your control but should be considered into the full picture.
Consider outside forces that could disrupt the actual job offer, the department or the role you will fill. For example, is there potential that the company could undergo a merger? Is your excitement about the role influenced heavily by a single team member? For example, you were completely captivated and inspired by the future manager you would work under… what if she retires soon? Do you like the rest of the department, how it works, your future colleagues and other leadership team?
This area of the exercise aims to understand any realistic threats that could happen to adjust your opportunities or prepare new ones to mitigate or turn these “threats” on their head.
You’ve gained some personal insights and maybe even developed the strategies to overcome some weaknesses.
Ask yourself some logical next step questions:
We hope we’ve made this decision about a new job or career a little easier and given you some good points to think about and an analytical way to weigh out the pros and cons.