There’s no mistaking that the paycheque is important. However, it’s not the only thing you should be worried about. When getting your first job, you’re going to find out that there’s a lot more to it than how your bank balance is looking at the end of the day. It needs to be a fit for you, for your life in and outside of the role, as well as your future. Here, we’re going to look at what else you should be looking for in a job besides a nice bit of cash.
It’s not too far away from thinking about how much pay you should accept. The benefits that come with a job are another part of the offer they make you to convince you to take the job. Sometimes, they can be a lot more valuable than some extra money, as well. Income protection, for instance, is one of the most valuable benefits, ensuring that you’re able to keep getting paid even when you’re put out due to long-term injury or illness. While you’re young and vital that might not seem like a huge deal to you. However, it’s the kind of protection that people without crave, covet and save to be able to afford. Always carefully consider the benefits package that comes with any job offer.
Moving away from what the employer is going to offer you, let’s look at what it means to work within a company day-by-day. If it’s a full-time job, it’s going to take up a significant portion of your life, after all. It’s not something you should have to grin and bear, it should work with you. One of the most important parts of that is the community that you could potentially be joining. You want to get a look at the people you will be working with before you take a job. But while you’re on it, keep an eye out for not only the signs of toxic employees but how the employers deal with them. You don’t want an employer who fails to take care of something that concerns and damages the rest of the team.
You should be looking at more than a job, as well. You should be looking at the potential for a career. Even if you want to march internally up the ranks, knowing the right people can seriously increase your chances of finding opportunity and getting a good word from the right person at the right time. You should look for roles that give you the opportunity to join networking events. For instance, if the boss is attending an industry conference or trade show, then you should ask to join as well. No matter where you work, you should always be building bridges, learning from potential mentors and creating new pathways.
A job that offers a future doesn’t necessarily have to offer a future within the company, either. Rather, it should be offering a future for you as an individual and a professional. When you first take a job, you’re likely going to get a wealth of upward mobility. You’ll be taking on new responsibilities and learning the skills to handle the role. But after that, the momentum has the potential to slow right down. You can’t accept that. Two months spent without any upward momentum are two months that have been wasted on nothing but earning a little cash. You need a workplace where you can ask for training or for the opportunity to get a new responsibility delegated to you
Care for your needs
A job shouldn’t just be able to give you a positive direction and day-to-day experience. It should also be able to handle the unexpected nature of the individual employee’s needs. Good employers know how to deal with employees who need time because they’re sick or because they need maternity leave. A comprehensive sickness absence policy shows that the employer has taken those needs into account and that they genuinely think about their employees as more than just resources to tap. It shows that they also have a structured approach to work so you know that any unforeseen changes aren’t going to throw a spanner in their works that they find it hard to recover from. In turn, that means you’re less likely to see any repercussions or resentment for being the ‘spanner thrower’.
The job shouldn’t be there to cushion you, of course. While no-one wants to work somewhere that stress is a constant concern, a little pressure can do you a lot of good. It can help you feel, explore, and push your limits. It can get great results out of you. If you take a job that offers no challenge, it’s easy to get complacent. You want employers that can actually tell you what parts of the job are challenging, too. If they try and sweep it under the rug and pretend challenge doesn’t exist in the role, it’s likely they’re just trying to hide something like a tendency to take the whole team into prolonged crunch mode.
A positive impact on the world
It’s important that you’re able to get behind the direction of a company. If you share their values, then you get more engaged in the work that you’re doing. It also makes you a lot more likely to want to stick with the business. Even if you’re not doing something that is necessarily good within your role as an individual, knowing that the company’s goals have some value to the world makes it a lot easier to keep motivated in the work that you’re doing. Beyond the services or goods that the organization provides, you should also look at how they fulfil their corporate social responsibility. For instance, do they work with any charity or voluntary organizations?
Needs go beyond the ability to keep working in a place and get some long-term development from them. It’s also about how you feel thanks to your job. Everyone who does a good job deserves some recognition and appreciation from their employer. Don’t be shy about asking any interviewers how the company shows that appreciation. Not only is it good for the morale of the team and a good way to incentivize better results and a better working environment. You can be sure that employers who appreciate good work also recognize good workers. That is essential to a work environment that provides advancement opportunities to those that genuinely deserve them. Which you will soon find out is not always the case in the professional world.
A measure of balance
Going back to your needs, it’s not just about how the employer deals with the unexpected needs. They also need to appreciate the constant need for work-life balance. But there are many employers who fail to do that all together. For instance, avoid employers who constantly push on requesting overtime. Not only is it bad for your health. It shows a clear lack of respect for your time. Burning the midnight oil might be part of being ambitious, but failing to pace yourself with long-term repercussions. Stress and physical health will decline. But so will any love that you had for a certain kind of work, as well. Never forget work-life balance when taking a job.
It’s up to you to value the points above. You’re not going to convince an employer to value them. Instead, what you can do is make them a priority and choose the employers who share those values.