Finding and Choosing the Right Job
While the salary does matter, in the long run, one needs to put the salary aside while making a choice to find and choose the right job. There are many other factors that one should consider while selecting the right job. Irrespective of the fact that you may be someone who just landed your first job our of school or if you are someone who wants to move up from an entry-level position or if you are an executive who is looking for the right job, the first question that everyone should ask: “Do I really want to work here?”
In order to help you make the right choice, we provide below some key factors that you should consider in order to evaluate a job offer before making a choice:
Evaluate the Benefits:
It is quite common for us to overlook the benefits, however in most cases, benefits can be worth around 25-30% of the total compensation. Find out if medical and/or dental is included. What are the spending plans offered by the company? Do the employers offer a pension plan? is 401(k) savings plan included? And if they will match your own 401(k) contributions? Other things that should be part of your benefits include:
- Other Financial Perks,
- Tuition Reimbursements,
- Signing Bonuses,
- Relocation Expenses,
- Home Buying Assistance,
- Flexibility in working hours etc.
Location / Relocation
Relocation can get very tempting. Particularly, due to higher salary offerings provided by employers located in big cities like New York, Los Angeles etc. What you need to consider is the higher living cost in big cities. Comparing the living costs with the additional hike in salary will provide you a good measuring stick to evaluate the additional value (if any) that a job in a big city is providing. Many-a-times, the salary hike may only barely cover the higher cost of living and thus, the offer may not be as attractive as it originally looks. Add to this the inconvenience of adjusting to a new city and the cost of relocation and you may find that you are better off in a smaller city like Atlanta or Minneapolis.
Commuting Costs (time spent & higher gas prices)
Although the commuting cost may not seem to be a big deal, however, higher gas prices may impact your budget especially if you have a long commute to work. Also, consider the time cost of commuting daily. Commuting takes an average of 25 minutes to get to work daily (according to the Census Bureau). It should take just as long to get back home. Thus, on an average, a person spends 5 hours a week in commuting. This translates to over 250 hours a year! While time spent in commuting is an important factor, another important thing to consider is the amount of stress involved (if you are traveling in congested side streets). Add to it the cost of parking fees and tolls. Make your decision after paying a careful attention to all these factors.
Growth and Advancement Opportunities
You do not want to get stuck in a job with no growth in sight. Query within an interview the possibilities of moving up in the company and requirements for a promotion. Carefully evaluate jobs on the basis of advancement options. Look for jobs which come with additional training programs or workplace education that will help you sharpen your skills and improve your network. Things that will help make you more valuable to the company or elsewhere (to other companies).
Work Culture & Environment
You are going to spend an average of 40-45 hours of your week at your workplace. That is almost 25-30% of your time. You need to ensure that you not only like the place where you work but also, that you fit in with others well. Consider the dress code and the area / cubicle being provided to you. Give importance to company details like size and culture while making a decision. Do the values of the company match up with yours? Will you be able to catch up with the pace of work there? Is the company culture more hierarchical or democratic? Are the co-workers friendly and will you be able to get long with them? It’s really difficult to get information about the work environment when you are in an interview. It is a good idea to get introduced to one of the co-workers within the final rounds of interviews. Query the co-workers to find out their likings and dislikes about the job.
Evaluate Job Security
A study conducted by the “Bureau of Labor” indicates that workers change jobs at least 10 times within their adult life. Never the less, one should evaluate your risk tolerance. Even for those who only want to stick around for one or two years. The kind of questions that you need to ask include: is this job with a start-up or mature company? Is the organization garnering the requisite respect within the industry? Is the company performing well and is it financially stable? Only if you get positive answers to these questions should you choose to select the employer and the job. You do not want to end up without a job just because the company goes out of business.
Your Level of Responsibility & Authority
You should ideally be looking for a job that will help you utilize your education qualifications and help sharpen your current skills. You may not just land the right job instantly; you may require climbing a ladder or two to reach there. A right job will allow you to work your way up and climb the ladders to reach the dream position. Finally, the most crucial thing to consider while looking for the right job is the future prospects and is covered below.
Future Perspective: 10 Years from Now
Finally, you need to evaluate the most important thing: will the job take you where you want to go in your career? The right job should align well with your future (long-term) goals. You need to have the clear foresight and understand how you will grow over time within the job offer at hand. Always look at the big picture and choose the job which will help you reach the desired future goals.