In an ideal world, we'd all go to work because it’s awesome and fun. But that just isn't always the case. A lot of us head to the office simply because we need the paycheck.
There’s no denying that monetary compensation is a major part of whether you should stay put at your job or seek “greener” pastures. But, if you can land a higher-paying gig, should you job-hop just for the money? While the easy answer may be “yes,” the real answer is "it depends."
To help you decide whether or not you should switch jobs for the Benjamins, here are six things to consider.
1. Entire benefits package
How much you’re getting paid is just one slice of the compensation pie. The whole compensation caboodle includes your paid sick and vacation time, matching contributions on employer-sponsored retirement plans, and benefits such as dental and health insurance. If your new job offers more pay but fewer benefits, it may not be the best “deal” after all.
You may also want to check out these big benefits questions employees forget to ask.
2. Cost of living
If the new job offer requires you uproot and move to another city or state, think about how that may affect your quality of life and cost of living. Will your potential new employer foot the bill for relocation costs? And, depending on your life situation, don’t forget to consider the added stress of moving. You’ll need to assess whether the relocation is worth it.
3. Big picture
Sometimes switching jobs for the money could end up hurting you down the road, points out Steve Wang, a seasoned hiring manager and recruiter.
“Making more money now doesn’t always correlate with making more money in the future,” Wang said. “And jobs with less benefits to start may come with intangible benefits like training, career opportunities and connections that can end up leading to a far more lucrative career path than the one that pays more today.”
4. Competitive pay
When evaluating job offers, always do your research to know the current competitive pay range for the position, said Lydia Frank, vice president of content strategy at PayScale in Seattle.
“Sometimes people make the mistake of accepting an offer because it sounds like a lot more than they’re currently making, even if it’s not a competitive offer for that role,” Frank said.
Check to see what someone who has similar qualifications and years of experience is making in your field in a similar role. You’ll also want to consider your location, size of the company and the industry. Pay ranges can be significantly different based on those factors, Frank said.
5. New job expectations
If you’re considering a job offer for significantly more money, make sure you understand what comes along with that higher paycheck, Frank said. For example, what are the expectations when working more than 40 hours per week? If you’re switching from an hourly job to a salaried one, will you still be making more per hour? And what’s the company culture like?
You can poke around company review sites to get a feel for a company’s compensation and culture.
6. Can you get a raise at your current job?
Let’s say you love your job, but the pay leaves something to be desired. If that’s the case, see if your employer is willing to bump up your salary.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for higher pay,” Frank said.
If your boss can't accommodate your request for a raise, see if the company can throw in more comp time, or greater flexibility in your work schedule. Make it known what’s most important to you, and see if your employer can meet you halfway.
“Money isn’t the be-all end-all," Wang said. "Remember to take into consideration whether you actually like the job."
Be aware: Job hopping doesn’t always equate to more money
Switching jobs doesn’t always mean you’ll rake in more dough. In a recent PayScale study of job hopping leading to higher pay, they found that it all depends on the job.
For more competitive roles, like a software developer, switching jobs on the regular can be beneficial in terms of a bump in pay. But for jobs where the market isn’t changing as rapidly, like an operations manager or administrative assistant, employees can earn more by staying at their current company.
All told, Frank cautions against job-hopping simply for a pay increase.
“Pay certainly matters, but doing work you love does as well,” Frank said.
This story originally appeared on Chime.