To Uncuff From Golden Handcuffs Or Not

Valuable perks, big bonuses and flexible work arrangements can make it hard to quit a job. What to consider when thinking of cutting loose.

To Uncuff From Golden Handcuffs Or Not


Want to ditch your employer, but their benefits package is the bomb? Ka-chunk. That’s the sound of your golden handcuffs locking.  

It’s a noise (and sensation) many might envy. After all, you’re still employed and have some outstanding perks. Trouble is you feel trapped by them at a job or employer that’s like a ball and chain.

This growing frustration could hamper you. So figure out what’s essential before ditching the shiny shackles.


Is There An Alternative To Finding A Job Elsewhere?

It usually takes time to accumulate better benefits. Like more than a few weeks of paid vacation. Juicy bonuses and stock options. Flex-work that closely suits your lifestyle. 

Resigning from a firm you’ve been at for a while could put some perks at risk. There’s also a financial cost to quit. Think twice about how to improve your work situation by staying put. But if you do choose to depart… 


Pinpoint Which Benefits You Actually Need

If you’re in your 20’s and healthy, is a Cadillac health care plan necessary? And if you’re mid-fifties, bogged down with work and fighting to keep your job, how likely are you to take advantage of unlimited vacation?

Don’t obsess over perks you’d be losing if they’re not essential. Train your eye instead of on the ones most relevant to your current and upcoming stages of life, and which cover immediate family members who need that umbrella.


Find Out What Potential Employers Are Offering

Hard to deliberate on staying or going without knowing what to compare with. Would you believe a good number of employers boast about their benefits on the employment pages of their site?

Unlike often having to dig for salary ranges, companies might openly describe their main perks gleefully. We offer a best in class pension plan. Or Flex-time, on-site daycare and free gym memberships for all employees.

Otherwise, try speaking to recruiting firms in your field. Also, see what employer review sites are saying. And ask specifically before signing a job offer.


Compare Apples To Apples

In other places you want to work will provide benefits similar to what you’ve got, scooting’s simpler. But what if, say, you work for a financial institution which has given you a cut-rate mortgage as a benefit? Or you’re locked into a pension plan topped up by your employer?

Try to calculate the dollar value of your current benefits. Do this in part by looking into their replacement worth. What would it cost you to buy a similar perk out of pocket after taxes?


Investigate Ease Of Obtaining Replacements For Lost Essential Benefits

Another factor: how hard it’d be to find and qualify for similar perks yourself. For instance, giving up comprehensive health insurance, and trying to buy it as a consumer (not an employee), could expose you to medical exclusions that might leave you uncovered.

Then again, the raise you’d receive at a different employer could make up for much of the gap. This is why focusing on dollars and availability will help you unlock – or more contentedly wear – those glistening cuffs.