Whether you’re contemplating accepting a new job offer or browsing the market for your next career opportunity, it is important to look beyond the paycheck and consider all the factors that go into making a job great.
Don’t get us wrong, your salary is incredibly important when considering a job, but we all know that an attractive figure doesn’t always amount to job satisfaction and longevity. If you’re kick-starting your career or moving on up the ladder, we’ve pulled together a list of eight factors to weigh up before you make your next move.
Your compensation package pays for your living expenses. It’s imperative to ensure your salary can sustain your lifestyle (home, food, travel, bills, entertainment etc.) and help you plan for the future. Make sure you know how much your skillset, education and experience are worth prior to accepting any job. Research the salary range for jobs you’re considering, speak to others who are at your level currently or were in the past, work out your point of difference and go in confidently knowing your worth. Don’t settle on the first offer made if you think you should be paid more, make sure you negotiate or set up a time within the first year for an appraisal.
Working hours can vary widely from company to company and depending on which industry you work in. Whether you work weekdays, weekends, late nights or early mornings, you should always ask your potential employer what their expectations are for regular working hours. Taking it one step further, ask them what they consider to be overtime beyond standard hours. Will they pay you for overtime or is this expected but not considered financially? The hours you put in will ultimately determine your work-life balance. If your job permits, ask whether you can be flexible with these hours and if they offer working from home opportunities.
When considering the length of your workday, it’s important to consider the hours you’ll spend commuting to and from work. Regardless of whether you take public transport or drive, this will still contribute to how much time per week you’re allocating to your job. We suggest working out how much it will cost to commute every day. Does the journey require tolls? Do you have to pay for parking? Do you require a public transport card? How much will petrol cost? Remember, this amount ultimately eats into your salary. If the location is unavoidable and something you’re willing to compromise with, perhaps work out ways to be more productive during this time. We suggest listening to podcasts, catching up with family and friends over the phone or simply taking some time for yourself.
The culture of a workplace will have a huge impact on your mental health and productivity. While it can be a little hard to figure out what it’s like prior to you starting, you can do your research and ask during the interview process. Questions to consider are how your potential managers or colleagues enjoy working there, do they partake in team-building and social events, what’s the turnover rate like, does HR play an important role and what their favourite things are about the team. This will give you a good indication on the culture and consistency of everyone’s answers. Don’t be afraid to look at reviews online or reach out to previous employees to get their take on it. Trust your gut on this one.
Your future colleagues have a huge influence on both your working environment and personal life. If you can, try to meet as many potential team members as you can during your interview. Pay attention to how coworkers interact with each other and their bosses. What’s the mood like in the work environment? What does the hiring manager say when you ask about the team? Do you get positive vibes?
Look for a place of employment that invests in the growth of its people. Advancement opportunities at a workplace are important for progression and future job offers. Prior to being interviewed, check out some employees’ LinkedIn accounts to see their progression at the place you’re interested in. Have they been in their position for long? How long did it take for them to move up? When it comes to your interview, ask about advancement opportunities. Not only will it help paint a better picture for you, but it will also show your potential employer that you’re thinking about your future at the company.
Educational opportunities are just as important as internal growth opportunities. Working for a company that supports and encourages both professional and personal growth can be incredibly rewarding and motivating. Educational growth can refer to studying, engaging in short courses, attending networking events and seeking mentorship. An important question to ask during your interview is if and how they invest in the education of their employees
Your salary is one part of the total package when accepting a new job. Benefits can make up a substantial chunk of your compensation so it’s worth assessing and negotiating these carefully. Things to consider are annual leave allowance, superannuation rates, yearly bonuses, phone allowance, travel opportunities, flexible working conditions and wellness activities.
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