New Year, New Job? A Dozen Things You Should Consider!
Someone in our office gave their notice a few weeks ago and is starting a new job in the new year! Sounds exciting, but I remember a few new jobs I started, and some things I hadn’t given quite enough thought on beforehand. If I had, I might have saved myself some money, and left my old team a bit better prepared for my absence!
- CNN Money recommends you check your 401K vesting. If you’re fully vested it isn’t an issue, and you can rollover your entire 401K to your new company, or to an IRA. However, if you’re close to reaching a new level of vesting, you may want to delay starting at that new job. It could literally save you thousands! If it’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and you’re too far away from the next level of vesting to make it make sense, let your new company know you’re leaving that cash behind. They may be able to offer something in your compensation package to make up for it!
- Ask your soon to be “past employer” about their referral policies. Some companies will not give a referral, but maybe you can ask for a Linked In Recommendation from your boss, or a co-worker who knows your style and has worked with you on a project or two.
- Ask about payroll timing. Some companies are monthly, some bi-weekly, some bi-monthly. Leaving one job for another may leave you with a week or more of no paycheck while you transition. If your new job is going to result in a pay increase (and it should), consider setting aside an amount during your final few weeks to keep you up and running during that transition. If you’re receiving a sign on bonus, or relocation funds, there shouldn’t be as much of an issue.
- Speaking of pay increases, if your new job includes a significant pay increase, consider setting aside a certain amount as direct deposit to a separate savings account. It can be an emergency fund, a vacation fund, or a celebration fund and get you on track with finances with no pain!
- Everyone wants to celebrate a new job, but consider a small celebration now and a bigger one 6 months or more down the road. Put off buying that new car or new wardrobe, until you’ve had a chance to experience that higher income. Rather than running credit cards up to celebrate, set funds aside and think about the best way to mark your advancement. A new car may be the perfect choice, or a weekend getaway or even decking out a new office at home. But until that new paycheck has been around for a while, you’ll just be spending money you don’t have.
- Moving expenses may be tax-deductible. Check with your tax advisor, but if you’re relocating for a job and are not receiving relocation assistance, you may be able to claim them. Keep track of all of it, from boxes and tape your purchase, to moving vans, and even a night or two in a hotel if your trucks arrive after you do!
- If a new job means more money, that also means shelling out more money to Uncle Sam. You should check to see if your new income will result in reaching a higher tax bracket, and plan ahead by making early tax deductions to minimize the impact.
- And don’t forget, searching for a new job and moving expenses related to the job change may be tax-deductible. So, make sure you’re keeping track of your expenses so you can make the most of any possible deductions.
A few final tips:
- Collect contact information from your co-workers ahead of time! Ask about connecting on Linked IN or other social media sites. Some companies and/or individuals have a policy of not connecting with co-workers, but don’t mind once you’ve moved on. It’s a great way to keep your network growing.
- Update subscriptions to industry magazines, eCommunications, and memberships before you go! You may miss out on publications or announcements before you have a chance to catchup after your move.
- Prepare a written/digital document with notes for your team including sources for material you have used, instructions, or tips for the person taking over your position, and even an outline of plans for the next few months. Things may change entirely after you leave, but it doesn’t hurt to provide support for the team during their transition. Remember, you’re not the only one going through a change. If you’ll be available to answer questions or provide support after you leave, let them know, and provide your preferred contact information.
- Coordinate transfer of any files or records you’ve stored on your individual drive/PC at work to a central location so anyone who needs to can access your material. Check with your IS team and/or your manager to find out how best to do this.
When a new job is on the horizon there is always a lot of excitement, and anticipation, but there may also be regret, sadness, and stress for all involved. If you head into the transition prepared, and give consideration to all concerned you can rest assured that you’ve done all within your power to make the change a positive one.
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