Raising the Bar: Why You Should Consider the Big Picture When Evaluating Employment Opportunities
— May 8, 2013 —
The results are in! We asked professionals around the globe: which three factors have the most influence on your decision when considering accepting–or rejecting– a job opportunity? Base salary, benefits and location proved to be the most influential factors among our surveyors.
Making a good judgement call is about looking at the big picture. Here are some important factors you should consider when making decisions with regard to employment opportunities.
Base salary: Simply put, someone’s gotta pay the bills. With such a large candidate pool, there are a lot of companies in the market who are willing to pay top dollar for top talent. But don’t let the money get the best of you. Will you grow in your new role? Will this role be challenging and rewarding? Look at the bigger picture instead of only focusing on the big bucks.
Benefits: Ranging from healthcare to vacation time, there’s no doubt that benefits are an important factor when considering a job opportunity. When thinking about benefits, there are short-term benefits such as vacation time or performance incentives, and long-term ones like retirement and pension plans. Depending where you are in your search and in your life, either or both short/long term benefits could influence your decision.
Location: If you have a family at home, the amount of time you spend on your morning commute could be a huge factor when deciding on a job opportunity. Perhaps those with less responsibility prefer to work in an area that has more to offer like restaurants and shops. For those of you without a license or a car, proximity to public transportation is also something to consider.
Industry: As a job seeker, it’s important to consider the industry for the job at hand, the industries you’ve worked in in the past, and the industries you are looking forward to working in in the future. Jumping from healthcare to media may not be the easiest transition, so it’s important to consider where you want to be when you’re looking at where you’re going. Using projected growth statistics is also a good indicator to where the industry is headed.
Growth Opportunity: Opportunities often come and go without ever announcing their arrival. Be proactive and consistently search for opportunities within your networks and contacts. While a potential career move may not explicitly have any opportunities for growth, as a candidate, you always have the ability to create them for yourself. Ask for more responsibilities, contact your networks for volunteering opportunities, freelance work or mentorship possibilities.
Work/Life Balance: While 12-hour work days are real and many handle them gracefully day in and day out, they’re not for everyone. Creating a manageable, realistic work/life balance means considering all your daily factors as a whole. How long is your commute? Do you take an evening class? Are you responsible for anyone other than yourself? It’s easy to burn out, so ensuring you have enough “Me” time during the week is a good way to keep yourself mentally in check.
Hours: Hours are much more complex than they may seem. Companies are becoming more and more flexible with regard to the amount of time an employee must spend on premises. At the same time, many companies require employee availability on weekends and holidays, and for personal and executive assistants, often the requirement is that the candidate be accessible 24/7 via smartphone.
Job Title: Your job title is a direct reflection of your career achievements. Job titles are badges of authority that can bolster (or undermine) your standing within a company and how you are viewed to clients and vendors.
Company Size: Small and large companies have their shares of pros and cons. Employees of smaller companies tend to have a less structured job description and therefore wear many hats and gain experience across a broader range of departments. Smaller companies also tend to have a tighter-knit working environment where you can be personable with the most junior staff members and the C-Suite team alike. Larger companies generally offer more opportunities for growth than smaller companies, at least in the more immediate future. Large companies also have the ability to pay better benefits or higher bonuses.
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