Day one, hour one at your new job and you find in the stack of onboarding paperwork a “Covenant Not to Compete” or a “Restrictive Covenant”. Also known as a non-compete. What is it? Why do they want you to sign it? And what options do you have?
A non-compete agreement, also known as a Covenant Not to Compete or Restrictive Covenant, is a contract between an employee and employer which restricts the ability of the employee to engage in business which competes with the employer within a certain geographic region for a certain period of time. By signing it, you agree that you will not compete with your employer by engaging in any business of similar nature in any capacity (employee, contractor, owner, investor, etc.).
Before we really get into discussing how to weigh two job offers, I feel I need to congratulate those who have successfully landed two job offers within a manageable time frame! That in itself can be a part time job and a big accomplishment. When I asked several people how they would go about weighing two job offers, the first consideration explored was typically “Which pays more?” It seems simple, but I want to caution not doing your homework before answering. There are several layers to understanding which position pays more, and if you do your analysis right, you’ll probably feel like you are creating a budget from scratch (I know, not too many people get excited about that). Let’s think through some dos and a few don’t’s of how to weigh two job offers:
We’ve all been there…you’ve made it through the interview phase, and this job opportunity is just perfect for you. You can already see yourself in the role. You feel like you did well in the interview, and you’re holding your breath for that call. Then you get THE LETTER: “We appreciate your interest in our position, however, after careful consideration we are not able to offer you a position at this time.”
Ugh. But before you get too discouraged about the rejections, there are a few positive things that can come out of getting that rejection letter.
One closed door opens another.
Sometimes it is amazing how your career path twists and turns. I remember early on in my career, I wanted to break into the pharmaceutical sales arena. It is a tough world to “switch” to if you don’t have specific product sales experience. People have even written books on how to navigate a transition to pharmaceutical sales (I know, because I bought one). My background and networking were enough to get me into the interview round, but I ended up getting beat out by experience several times. Had I landed one of those first few attempts, I wouldn’t have embarked on the journey that led me to the great career I have now!
Are you trying to make heads or tails of your most recent job offer? Or maybe you are weighing two opportunities at the same time. Perhaps it seems obvious you should accept the highest pay. But what about benefits? Whatever your situation here are some points to ponder before you sign the on dotted line.
We are all trying to make as much money possible to secure our future. Even though the obvious answer may be to strive for the highest salary, it’s not everything. We often see employees change jobs and step away from glamorous high paying jobs to do something that makes them happier, less stressed, or creates more of a work/life balance for them and their family. Step one is to look beyond the dollar signs and ask yourself, will I be happy in this role?
Once you know where your heart lies, you can really begin to weigh out how the job offer adds up. Focus first on the pay structure. What’s the base salary and is there additional earning potential like bonuses, incentive, or commission? Base salary plus performance pay is called total cash, this is what you can expect to bring home in a year. This is where you need to ask some questions of the employer to understand what is the target total cash compensation (base salary + performance pay if goals are met) versus actual total cash (base salary + performance pay actual paid out). Ask informed questions around how performance reward programs are structured like how is performance measured, are the earnings capped, what stipulations exist, is there additional earning potential beyond the program presented, and how often goals are typically met by those already in the role.
So you’re thinking about asking for a raise. Good for you! But first, ask yourself before you end up rejected and feeling defeated: do I deserve a raise? That’s a loaded question, one that can’t simply be understood unless you understand the context of asking for a raise. Here are a few other questions to consider before you take a deep breath and head for your manager’s office.
Quick answer, yes! Someone somewhere is making more money than you, doing your exact same job. It’s the truth. Looking at agricultural employee compensation for almost 10 years now, I can tell you that not everyone is making the same thing. In fact, sometimes I am surprised to see the variation that exist within our industry or even within the same company.