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Looking to switch jobs? Here’s a checklist of what you need to do first

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Compared to our parents who typically stayed in a job all their life, we tend to keep moving.

Here’s a checklist to follow when you switch jobs to ensure that the move is smooth and that you fit into your role comfortably.

#1: Don’t resign till you get a written confirmation

Do not put in your resignation, unless you get a written confirmation along with a soft copy of the actual offer letter. Even then, resign only if you decide to accept it.

A written confirmation will allow you to quit with minimal risk.

#2: Part on good terms

It can be tempting to lash out at your soon to be ex-employer during your notice period for all the bad times you might have gone through. Leaving a company in bad terms can be disastrous for your career.

After all, it’s a small world out there.

Try your best to part with your employer on pleasant terms. Prepare an official handover document for the new employee who’d be replacing you. Stick around till the new person is trained enough, even if it means extending your notice period by a week or two.

#3: Understand your new compensation fully

Here’s a real deal breaker.

A lot of people only consider the CTC or Cost To Company specified by the employer during their offer negotiation time.

On paper, you might see a higher compensation as compared to your current salary. In reality, though, your in-hand salary might be far less.

Different companies have different ways of calculating benefits. While some companies count all the costs associated with retaining you, including benefits like health insurance or EPF contribution of the employer in your CTC, others might not add all perks.

Understand all the deductions and the actual in-hand salary you will be getting before accepting an offer.

#4: Managing multiple bank accounts

Chances are, the bank you have your salary account with, might not be the one your new employer deals with. In most cases, you’ll end up having multiple bank accounts.

In case the banks are the same, talk to your HR and get them to use the account you already have for crediting salary. You’ll have to request a change of employer with your bank.

#5: Manage your Employee Provident Fund (EPF) account

If your current employer provides you EPF benefits, you can either choose to continue using the same EPF account with the new employer or withdraw the money when you quit.

It’s recommended not to withdraw the money but rather keep using the same EPF account even as you change jobs.

#6: Collect the required forms and file it for future reference

You need to collect and file all forms, including form 16, relieving letter, experience certificate, past few months’ payslip, etc.

In some cases, you will receive form 16 only later as most companies give it out to employees in May or June.

You can verify the TDS amount by downloading the Form 26AS from the income tax department website, when filing your taxes.

Your new employer would generally accept your previous payslips as proof of tax deductions even if you do not have your form 16 while joining.

#7: Understand any new tax implications

Does your new salary structure push you in to a higher salary bracket? Make sure that you factor in the higher tax you might need to pay. Plan to save your taxes accordingly.

#8: Stick with your saving habits

Irrespective of the hike you get, your monthly savings  should remain as a percentage of the total salary. If you haven’t done so till now, create an emergency fund first.

If you save 30% of your current Rs 50,000 per month salary, and your new monthly salary is Rs 60,000, you should end up saving Rs 18,000 instead of Rs 15,000.

Throughout the interview process, many of our candidates often ask questions such as, “In general, how long should I stay at one company before switching jobs?” “Do you think that now is an appropriate time for me to switch jobs?”

In truth, there isn’t really a set of objective criteria according to which you can decide whether or not it’s the right time to leave your current job.

Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.

 

Regardless of whether they’re an employer who works at the company for which you’re applying or a headhunter belonging to a third party, your interviewer will invariably put on emphasis on your professional stability or “degree of loyalty”. Generally, interviewers will interpret less than two years of experience at one company as a lack of loyalty, whereas less than one year will be interpreted as professional instability. However, this doesn’t mean that three years’ experience will invariably be viewed as stable; the value of your work experiences isn’t necessarily defined by their length.

Switching jobs varies according to your personal circumstances

Believe it or not, the amount of time you should wait before deciding to switch jobs varies according to your personal circumstances. If you’ve been working the same job at the same company for 3-5 years without being promoted or receiving a considerable raise, then you should consider changing positions within the same company or switching to another company as a means of accelerating your professional development.

When it comes to employment, staying in the one spot is really just another form of moving backward. Why three to five years, you may ask? Your first year in a company is really the period in which you begin to familiarize yourself with the company environment, the content of the position, the company’s hierarchy, etc. Your second year is when you gradually fall into the role of the position, where you appreciate its significance and come to understand the actual tasks that the job entails. The year that follows these two formative years is your time to shine: now that you know the ins and outs of the job, you can start making real achievements.

At this point, the company should start to consider whether or not to give you a raise or a promotion. If you are in your fourth or fifth year at a company and you’re still being rewarded for new progress, that means that the company recognizes your value—in which case you can consider to keep working for them. However, as you work on professional development and improve your skills, it’s still wise to establish new career objectives for every three years.

If you have missed the golden window of opportunity that begins at your third year and ends in your fifth, then it’s likely that you value the comfort of what you already know more than any opportunities for progress. As your external environment changes ceaselessly, it will become increasingly difficult for you to gain the confidence needed to overcome the challenges inherent in finding and changing jobs.

Employers will not necessarily turn you down if you have frequently changed jobs—especially if you have a valid excuse for leaving your last job or were forced to leave due to circumstances out of your control (such as a company closing down or removing your function from its organizational structure). However, why you left your last job remains highly sensitive information which may cause the employer to doubt your competence.

We strongly discourage candidates from resigning without having already received another offer

Except in circumstances where it is absolutely necessary, we strongly discourage candidates from resigning without having already received another offer. Leaving one job without having another lined up is risky behaviour: such candidates face enormous pressure as they search for another job, and as a result are prone to making irrational career choices.

I hope my insights into when is the best time switch jobs have been valuable and helpful. For further advice, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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