Beyond the Paycheck – how to find out if that is the job for you

Good news: it’s a jobseeker’s market now, where many more are hiring than those that are looking. Hence, if you have been job searching, you probably have quite a few offers in your inbox right now.

The next question would be, “Which should I accept?”

If your inclination is to simply accept the highest pay and most expensive benefits package, we urge you to think again. As noted previously, relationships with colleagues emerged as a key driver of workplace happiness, so you would do well to do as the title states and think beyond the paycheck.

We recommend the following steps:

1. Get specific about your career needs and goals

Before you start comparing offers, check with yourself first. Why do you need a job? What do you want this job to provide you with?

Beyond the obvious answer, “money!”, people can be surprisingly different. Some want career progression and early retirement, while a mid-career professional may be looking for a change. Those with families prize stability, while students look for gig work that allows them to balance all their commitments and build up their portfolios.

These translate into logistical considerations such as how many hours you can work per day or week, if you need flexibility or a set schedule, and if finding the right culture fit is a priority. You might want to make a list of non-negotiables, then compare job offers against it.

2. Research the company for culture and fit

Referencing the point above, a good job fit is a make-or-break for many people. Fit in well and you will feel energized and appreciated, bad fit means you may spend all your money at the doctor’s.

Get a sense of the workplace culture through online research. Check out their website and social media accounts. What does the tone tell you about the company? You may wish to ask the hiring representative some culture fit questions as well.

3. Benchmark your position salary-wise

We said that money isn’t everything, but it does mean something. If you have a goal or minimum salary or hourly wage you need to make, include that as part of your search. More and more employers are including pay in the description to save time for both recruiters and job seekers.

It is also a good idea to explore your worth as well. How much does your position typically pay? What would increase your salary, or what would you be willing to accept in its place? Have a good idea of such things.

4. Stay on top of trends in your industry

This ties into the next step, keeping abreast of industry developments. The world moves fast – even faster due to the pandemic – and you need to be ahead of it to make headway.

Set aside some time each month to check-in on your career progress. Does your profile accurately reflect your skills? Are you continuing to see what other roles are out there? That last point is especially crucial when you compare the job offer to others you may have received.

5. Prepare yourself mentally for your next step

If you do decide to accept the offer, prepare yourself for the changes that will inevitably take place. Research shows that it takes anywhere from three months to a year to get used to a new position, depending on technicality and seniority. Be prepared to take changes in stride, make mistakes, and learn the ropes. (Basically, be one of the Good People!)

You are still one of the Good People even if you don’t accept, of course. In which case, it’s back to the job search for you. Take a short break before you begin anew, and remember to revisit this article when the next offer lands on your plate!

Lastly, people don’t search for jobs in a vacuum. Did a friend or professional contact help you in your decision, or provide advice that has proven effective? Use the hashtag #JobscentralGoodPeople to give them the credit they deserve by tagging and telling them how much you appreciated them on your social feed!