A new job, while exciting, is not always a clear yes/no decision. For many jobs, there are hidden costs that lurk below, waiting to strike when you are at your most vulnerable. These costs can easily make a new position go from Perfect to Pass. Here are 5 Hidden Job Costs that you need to know before you apply to another job.
Your driving commute, for most people, is an easy thing to calculate, right? Wrong! While it’s pretty easy to figure out how many gallons of gas it will cost you per week, there are hidden costs that you may not know. One of these is the wear and tear on your car. The more you drive the more likely a piece of your car is going to start sputtering, needing immediate repair. And, sooner or later, you will need a new car. The longer the commute, the quicker this will happen.
Another hidden cost of your commute is time. Sure, you probably know what a 30 minute commute means on surface, but do you know what that looks like at the end of the year. The average commute in America is about 25 minutes. At the end of the year, that is 186 hours. For reference, a week is only 168 hours. Which means this new position can steal a week of your life away at the end of year. A costly theft for sure.
Benefits are usually pretty visible so you can easily calculate the pros and cons and figure out what your want. But you might want to check your math again. These benefits may not be as truthful as you want. Many benefits take time to kick in, which means transferring jobs may leave you and your family without things like health insurance. Get sick or hurt in this moment and it could get expensive.
Other benefits require an upfront cost. Some companies might be willing to pay you back for that, but not all. And if you can expect a return on the cost, how long will that take? If you add in the cost of moving and travel, this upfront hit could knock your socks off.
Some jobs have a very clear cut schedule for the position; 9 to 5, five days a week. It’s never more, it’s never less. But most positions you find will be more ambiguous. You should expect your dream job might, at some point, require extra time by working late, working weekends, working holidays, working with little notice, or even doing some work from home.
A very popular Search Engine has this as a part of their culture. Working an absurd amount of hours is simply what they do. If you want to work there, the expectation is you’ll work a lot of hours. Most jobs will offer compensation for this, beyond pay, but that might not be worth it.
For some, working a ton might just be fine. For others, like those of you with committed hobbies or families, this may not be possible. I, personally, rejected an otherwise great offer from this Search Engine so I could maintain a healthy family balance, because that is paramount to me. And I knew, with time, I could find the same income for a similar role at a company that supports a better work/life balance.
Maybe soul is the wrong word here, but I think it fits. A new position that comes with better pay, less hours, and more benefits can be a dream come true. But what if the position takes more than just your time, what if it takes your soul?
We live in a world where we can see the interest of the people we work with and the companies themselves. Maybe this position is a clear upgrade, but what if your company represents people or ideologies that you are strictly against? Every single day you will know that you are, in part, fueling something you do not believe in. How much of this can you handle? How will you feel at the end of the year? Maybe a position at a company you truly believe in is worth more than a few thousand dollars at the end of the year. Only you can know for sure.
This is one of the biggest hidden costs for any position. Your sanity is not replaceable. Your sanity, your happiness, your enjoyment of life does not have a price tag attached. Being happy at work is being happy at life, it does not matter the job or career. While money is important, it is nothing compared to happiness.
Before you apply to a position, really delve deep into the job. Does it require you to perform duties that you’re not comfortable with? Will it slowly drive you mad? Sometimes you won’t know right away. Maybe it’s co-workers or maybe you thought you could handle something that is just too much for you. But sometimes you’ll see the sanity cost right next to the salary. And sometimes one will be too high to warrant the other.
These 5 Hidden Job costs must be carefully considered before you apply to any position. Each alone can turn a great opportunity into something you should pass on. All of them together can turn a dream job into a nightmare.