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Can You Afford to Take That New Job?

A close up of a piggy bank.

There’s a lot to think about when you get offered a new job: If you still want the jobhow and what to negotiate; and what you’re going to wear on your first day. However, there is one aspect of a new opportunity that’s easy to overlook: Will you have to pay more to do this job?

Over on US News, Alison Green offers tips on how to evaluate a job offer. In one tip she outlines “hidden costs” that might arise when taking on a new gig:

"Will you have a much longer commute? Need to buy a fancier wardrobe? Be expected to schmooze in your community on your own dime? Even if the job is a salary increase for you, it might be eaten up if you suddenly have big expenses in these areas that you didn’t have before."

When I reflect on jobs I have had in the past, all of them have had hidden costs. For example, an external facing role required me to invest in a better wardrobe and a better phone. That being said, it’s hard to think of hidden costs ahead of time to see if there are things the organization can cover and you can perhaps negotiate before signing on.

And some costs aren’t related just to the job but also to the culture of the organization. A place where staff goes out to lunch together every day or attends happy hours can certainly bust your budget.

On the flip side, there might be costs that decrease at a new job. In my last position, for example, the organization covered our transportation costs, which gave me more wiggle room financially.

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by Allison Jones

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