On a recent trip to Washington, DC I chatted with a woman who had recently changed jobs and cities, moving from Philadelphia to Washington, DC. The facility she's working for and the team she's working with are both top notch, yet she hesitated when I asked her how she liked the change. It turns out that her hesitation stemmed from the unanticipated higher cost of living in DC. Even though her salary was more than in Philly, she is finding it hard to make ends meet in DC.
At the other end of the spectrum is the female executive in the gaming industry living in Las Vegas. Before she made the commitment to join a new organization, she negotiated a full-time personal assistant into her contract. A personal assistant who deals with dry cleaning, grocery shopping, wrapping birthday and holiday gifts and other time-consuming errands so she is able to bring some life balance into her very busy life.
As you consider making a change, here a three suggestions that may help that dream job stay dreamy:
#1: Do your research. Find out what the differences are between your current job and the one you're offered. A few non-obvious items to consider:
  • commute times
  • cost of living (average electric and heating bills, housing, dining and entertainment, parking, etc.)
  • access to services you value (good grocery store, gym, good running paths, doctors, etc.)
#2: Spend some time intentionally reflecting on what you love in your current job, and what you're seeking in your new job. Be very clear with yourself. If you enjoy most of what you have in your current job, perhaps a candid conversation with your manager about what you're missing would be productive.
#3: What's the new team like? You've likely met your new manager, but have you met the rest of the people you'll be working with? They are the people you'll be spending more time with than anyone else in your life. Shouldn't you at least meet them before you take the plunge?
As you're considering changing jobs, be sure to consider the whole package and not just the shiny ribbon!

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