Things to know before changing jobs

It's the new year and most people have had the chance to take time off and reflect on the past year – its challenges and the areas that need to change.

It’s a time when people think about changing jobs or their reward reality in order to make the new year a resounding success. But shifting personal and professional goalposts needs to be done with finesse.

Taking the move one step at a time ensures there’s a clear understanding of the current reward reality so that any negotiations are done from an informed position and in line with the market.

Reward is not exclusively about the money, while this is important it’s sometimes the intangible that makes a career choice a happy one.

Deciding on a move

Get a statement of full financial earnings and include all items such as salary, company contributions to retirement, medical aid and more.

Also include any potential incentive earnings and speak with the human resources specialist to gain a clear picture of the full financial investment the company is making.

Once done, do the same for the non-financial aspects which are non-negotiable to you, such as a collaborative boss or a job rotation programme or healthy food access. Uncover what is of value personally within the company and what it would cost to lose it.

Once all these aspects have been assessed they provide a rich outline of the total reward offering from an organisation. This can then be held up alongside the reasons for wanting to leave to determine if this is the right decision or not.

Assessing the market

The next step is to navigate the opportunities in the external market and there are a number of key aspects to this.

The first is to understand the external market and your personal market value. Different companies, by their very nature, value and employ specific skills and it is vital to do the research and match skills in accordance with an organisation’s offerings and value proposition.

Personal market value is not a thumb suck. It can be determined by looking at what jobs are on offer and it is strengthened by awareness that these values are rarely straightforward.

A company may pay high guaranteed packages, but have no incentives so if there are incentives at the current company the package may be worse off.

The second aspect to consider is a synergy between company and personal values.

A culture fit is a more reliable determinant of success and happiness than the package on offer. And, of course, there is the need to negotiate a package in a way that shows a clear understanding of the current reward package along with value and market worth.

Know which areas are non-negotiable and show an understanding of personal worth through discussions. Come across as someone who is well prepared and has researched.

Ask for a Total Reward Offer statement that shows all aspects on offer across financial and non-financial or create one if the company does not have one.

Finally, examine the incentives as they are a critical aspect of any environment. Be clear on the value derived from these programmes and how embedded they are in the company.

Ensuring clarity across all these elements will play a critical role in making an informed decision.

Remember that any relationship is give and take and all discussions should be constructive as this will only stand you in good stead for the future.

*Kim Lombard is a member of the South African Reward Association and director of Synntech People Solutions

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, and I've gotten it.
21% - 1037 votes
No, I did not.
52% - 2591 votes
My landlord refused
28% - 1395 votes