One of our strategic goals for our search business is to place candidates into jobs where they are excited to get up and to work each day. One of the questions we ask every candidate we talk to is “What are the most important things you are looking for in your next job?” Often candidates have not considered this in depth – especially when they are more interested in getting away from their current job than going to a new one. Without considering what's really important to you, you run a high risk of making a bad career move.
Today, we wanted to discuss the WIN – What’s Important Now. If you cannot define what you want, it will be difficult to decide if a career opportunity is right for you.
It’s worth considering all the variables involved in a new position, even the less-obvious ones, and decide what are the most important to you at this point in your career and your life. It’s also important to discuss this with your spouse or significant other – balancing home life and their career goals is important as well and should not be discussed at offer stage on a job that will upset that dynamic.
As you decide what your WIN is, we wanted to highlight several of the variables you should consider when looking for your next job:
Compensation: Most people start here. While there is very little correlation between a “great job” and compensation, you want to be paid what you are worth. You should know what the market is like (using tools like Salary.com & Glassdoor can help), and the range you are willing to accept and still pay your bills and hit your financial goals. If you are looking to move up in your field, you should target a 10-15% increase in salary. Also, when you get to an offer stage, it’s important to consider the total compensation. It’s also important to consider the other variables on this list as well. Some of the best paying companies are the worst to work for.
Location: How far are you willing to commute – and be honest with this. Spending 12 hours a week driving to and from work might take the shine off any new job in time.
Relocation: Are you willing to relocate for a job? If the dream job is in another city and all that stands in the way is the hassle of a moving truck, is it worth it?
Travel requirements: How much overnight travel is ok with you? How much is ok with your spouse or significant other?
Work/Life Balance: What is the expectation for working hours? Do nights and weekends come into play regularly? Do you get sucked into working during time off and vacations?
What is the cost of leaving your current job? Do you have to pay back tuition assistance or relocation? Leave stock options behind? Give away a week or two of vacation?
Job responsibilities: Will the learning curve be a steep one? Will you be doing things that are physically, mentally, or morally in line with your capabilities?
Career growth potential: Will a new role be a step up, a lateral, or a step back? Taking a step back in responsibility to a growth company might make sense if your company is stagnant or in decline.
Corporate culture: This means different things to different people – define what kind of company you want to work for.
Corporate social responsibility: Does the company have ethical practices, volunteer options, community involvement, sustainability programs, or none of the above?
Management team: –critical to your success. Will you have a leadership team that is competent and caring?
Job security: How important is this to you? That cool startup might be fun but risky. A government job might mean job security but be boring.
Industry future: Is there a hot industry you want to break into? Are they in line with your interests and motivation? Is the industry in decline with future career prospects uncertain?
Colleagues and peers: Will you be surrounded by good people? Will you fit in?
Hidden costs: Sometimes it hard to see these – but they can add up. Do you have to pay for parking? Provide your own tools (laptop, phone, tools)? Upgrade your wardrobe?
This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but you can see that there is much more to consider than just compensation. Our advice is to determine which are most important to you and shoot for the best combination you can.
If you are ready for a career move, we’d like to hear from you. If your career is stuck in a rut, we can help. Reach out to us and we’ll see what we can do.
If you like what you read, please comment below and consider sharing with your social networks. Thanks and good hunting!