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Naomi Rothwell-Boyd, March 20 2023

What To Look For In A Job? Consider These 15 Key Factors

In this post we will explore 15 key factors to help you decide whether a job is the right fit for you. Every person has a unique situation and different minimum requirements they need in a job when considering a career change. So it’s important to weigh these factors to decide if a job meets your individual needs.

But it's hard to think of potential factors out of thin air, which is why I'm providing you the list of the 15 key factors most often mentioned by people going through career coaching. We also deep dive into each item for more insight. If you're stuck considering what to look for in a job, review these factors and try to pick which might fit your minimum requirements.

The 15 Most Common Key Factors To Consider In Your New Job Search

1) Salary and compensation package

Helps You Know Your Worth

Knowing your value in the workplace is essential for achieving success in any job role – understanding what the job market rate is for similar positions ensures you can negotiate effectively and confidently for the position that you deserve.

Supports Long Term Goals

An important consideration when assessing any job offer should be to think ahead to the long-term financial implications of each option - if career progression might lead to higher qualifications, career advancement, more experience or higher earning potential then this should also form part of your decision-making process.

Helps You Live Comfortably

A higher salary goes beyond providing an income - it helps determines what kind of lifestyle you have access to now, as well as in the future. Consider whether the offered salary would allow enough financial stability both immediately, and down the line, or whether you may need more money as part of the new position.

Incentives To Stay

Good salaries are not only attractive for potential employees but also encourage existing staff to remain with their current employer rather than looking elsewhere - being fairly compensated will increase motivation levels within teams as well as enabling retention of top talent within organizations over time!

2) Benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and holiday time

Financial Security

Benefits are all about providing financial security both now and in the future, ensuring that employees are on solid footing regardless of their current circumstances or life events. Good benefits packages will provide options such as health insurance and retirement plans that offer stability in times of need.

Professional Development

Offering employees professional development opportunities, advancement opportunities or any kind of additional education opportunities is an important part of any benefits package. It's not just about investing in the employee’s professional capabilities but also showing them where they could ultimately progress to within your organisation if they make the effort.

Quality Of Life

Offering other benefits that make life easier - whether these be flexi-time arrangements, remote working, good work life balance, child care support or anything else – can go a long way towards helping employees satisfactorily manage their work/life balance!

Improved Happiness & Morale

An employer who cares about its staff will be rewarded with improved morale among employees - good benefits demonstrate that an employer is invested in employees beyond simply recruiting them for their skillset which has been proven to increase productivity levels across teams!

Essential Support Services

Many organizations offer essential services beyond traditional compensation packages - from mental health counselling to emergency loan programs and other forms of additional assistance that may be needed in times of struggle or crisis - offering these kinds of services shows true commitment to staff welfare!

3) Location and commuting time

Cost & Time Saving

Having easier access to work means you’ll save on transport costs, as well as the time it takes you to get there – depending on the industry, this could be crucial if you’re working longer hours or to tight deadlines.

Quality Of Life

A shorter commute means more time at home – having easy access to your employment also helps maintain a better work/life balance by giving you more freedom around schedule changes as well as having flexibility over taking on additional tasks if needed!

Future Plans

If career progression may lead to higher qualifications or higher earning potential then this should also form part of your decision-making process – think ahead not just in terms of current location requirements but also what any future plans may entail from an access perspective.

Local Amenities

Do some research into local amenities outside of work – take into account nearby leisure facilities such as parks, gyms, theatres etc so that you can relax and enjoy yourself in your free time after a hard days work!

4) Company culture and values

Quality Of Work life

Establishing a positive work environment with healthy working practices is essential to maintain a productive workforce that feels valued – well-defined core values give employees something tangible to follow, providing consistency across teams even if staff turnover occurs!

Professional Identity

A strong adherence to the core values of an organisation helps form the foundations on which true professionals can show their skillset - understanding company culture allows us to showcase our talents in a way that reflects positively on us but also contributes towards collective goals!

Feeling Secure

Security is essential for any employee – both financially speaking but also in terms of feeling ‘safe’ at work - having strong corporate ethics instilled through clear values gives employees peace of mind knowing their employer has their best interests at heart! Does the hiring manager sound positive about the next few years, or do you suspect you might have to steer clear and keep looking for a new job?

Aligned Beliefs

Core beliefs guide tactics employed in different scenarios not only within the team itself but also externally with customers/clients etc. Do you share the same core beliefs as the hiring managers you're speaking with? Does the company's culture appear to be a good fit with your approach to work?

5) Opportunities for professional development and advancement

Career Progression

Professional advancement is an important factor for those who want to advance in their career – employers should provide incentives such as training courses or other development programs to help employees progress their skillset and experience.

Learning Opportunities

How does the company help you take on new responsibilities? What is the experience taught by doing the job day to day? Often large corporations have well defined learning and development plans, but a small company may also have interesting educational opportunities that make a job more attractive.

Continued Engagement

Does the company proactively give employees more tasks to do and projects to work on beyond the basic job role? Is there a clear career path laid out and additional job opportunities available in time beyond the role you're exploring today?

6) Work-life balance and flexibility

Mental Health

Providing employees with the ability to control their hours, workload and working environment directly affects their level of stress, leading to improved mental health outcomes - allowing for an appropriate mix of work and leisure activities helps keep us refreshed as well as motivated! Does the job description provide some guidance on how the company will help you sustain strong mental health?

Engagement Levels

Having more control over our time allows us to increase focus on specific tasks - rather than feeling rushed or overwhelmed we can take our time to ensure the highest quality results are achieved! Will this company respect your personal life? Do Glassdoor reviews of the company speak negatively of how engaged current staff are with their jobs?

Increased Productivity And Efficiency

Offering flexible working arrangements such as remote work has been found beneficial in both improving performance levels. Will you have clearly defined flexible working opportunities? What is the company's history on remote working post-covid?

Family/Life Goals

Setting boundaries between life at home and at work is essential – having access to some free time during usual operating hours allows us to accommodate other commitments such as meetings, errands or deadlines that would otherwise have had to be worked around! Family time should be respected by hiring managers, so keep any eye out for their stance.

7) Job security and stability

Financial Security

Having an understanding of how secure your employment could be will directly affect your financial position - having a reliable income ensures we can meet our commitments over time without fear of suddenly losing it all! Asking about the company's future growth is a good interview question to ask during the hiring process.

Resources Reliability

Knowing that resources or services are available as needed means we are better placed to respond quickly to challenges or changes – this helps build trust amongst colleagues and provides an environment where work rate is far less affected by uncertainty. It's a great idea to probe into what resources your team will have the next year or two.

Reduce Stress & Anxiety Levels

Working in an environment where security is expected over long periods gives peace of mind that we will be supported whatever the circumstances may be! Use the job interview to ask your own questions about job security and whether there have been any recent redundancies.

8) Company reputation and track record

Strengthened Credibility

Building a solid foundation early on is essential in gaining trust with both customers and clients – having a positive image within the marketplace is essential in obtaining and retaining business. Does the company give job seekers clear evidence of good performance?

Enhanced Career Prospects

Did people previously working at the company move on to big things? Did their careers keep growing as a result? Finding out their success stories can tell you a lot about the company's reputation and how it might boost your own career trajectory in the future.

Ability To Attract Talent

Reputable companies will always attract attention from potential candidates, this helps increase competitiveness within certain industries as well as providing access to the best talent available!

Improved Job Satisfaction Levels

Check out the Glassdoor reviews of current employees, this will give you an insight into how your new role might be perceived over time. Also, take the time to speak with real people who have worked at the company to gain a better understanding of what job satisfaction looks like there.

9) Work environment and facilities

Having an enjoyable work space with comfortable furnishings improve focus, collaboration and workflow which leads to increased productivity! Does the company's office environment suit you?

A tastefully designed office space can encourage interactivity amongst colleagues – this helps create an idea-sharing culture that generates innovation ideas quickly.

Working environments should always be well equipped with all the necessary tools needed - showing up to work each day with adequate resources available allows us to work at our very best!

Does the company's office environment suit you? Would it feel like a space where you personally could be productive? Are there any additional amenities that you would expect to find?

10) The nature of the work and job duties

Avoid Overload

Many workplaces are incredibly busy, it is important to make sure that any job role offers a manageable workload – ensuring that we don’t become overwhelmed or burnout too quickly is essential in remaining productive! Are there any signs of burnout from employees?

Achieving Job Satisfaction Levels

Knowing exactly what will be required within a certain role can help mould expectations – taking on specific responsibilities ensures that we have something tangible to work towards thus improving levels of satisfaction. Are your ongoing goals going to be clearly defined?

Ensure Compatibility With Teammates

Any successful organisation requires teamwork and cooperation – discussing expectations beforehand can give us an insight into how compatible we may be with those already employed which ultimately leads to better performance outcomes. What is your assessment of the people interviewing you? Did you get to meet enough of the team to make a judgement?

11) Your manager's management style and leadership quality

Clarity & Transparency

A great manager sets clear objectives, establishes rules defined by fairness - this helps to foster an environment of open communication between team members – leading to an atmosphere of trust and respect. Does the hiring manager appear to demonstrate such qualities? Are they a clear communicator?

Encourages Career Development

Great leaders will actively promote autonomy within their teams while also providing tailored development plans - this allows each individual to grow both professionally and personally within their role. How does the hiring manager talk about career progression?

Stimulates Creativity & Innovation

An open minded leader embraces creativity allowing ideas from all angles – this encourages problem solving as well as inspiring further growth. Do you feel inspired from your interviews?

Instilling Clear Purpose & Direction

Good leaders lead by example, demonstrating the expected behaviours that should be adopted throughout the company culture - setting appropriate expectations from day one will ensure everyone is on the same page with what is required of them. Do you feel this new job opportunity will give you a sense of purpose?

12) Opportunities for collaboration and teamwork

Learning From & Supporting Each Other

Working together in unison allows us to pick up new skills while also helping our colleagues to learn - having access to positive team dynamics will assist with problem solving as well as promoting personal growth. Do the people you've met demonstrate a supportive culture?

Positive Influence On Morale

An environment filled with collaboration raises morale in many ways - cheering each other’s successes, constructive feedback and gathering around shared goals helps form an attitude amongst the whole team that success is possible. The more signs you see of positive collaboration the better.

Helping To Build Rapport & Relationships

Sharing common interests provides individuals with a platform on which they can relate to one another - working through challenges as a group helps forge meaningful relationships within any workplace. How do you connect on a personal level with the people you are talking with during the hiring process? Do you see yourself working well with these people?

13) Diversity and inclusivity within the organisation

Leveraging Uniqueness & Valuing Different Views

Working with colleagues from different backgrounds means that you’re exposed to a variety of ideas – understanding each other’s differences allows everybody in the team to be heard which shows respect for their opinions – leading to better performance. How much does the company demonstrate their support of fostering different perspectives?

Creating A Sense Of Belonging

A workplace where everyone feels appreciated is hugely important – regardless of race, gender, creed or sexual orientation, it’s essential that diversity and inclusion are at the forefront within any organisation in order for everyone feel valued and included.

14) Opportunities for creative expression and innovation

Opening Up New Possibilities

Allowing individuals to demonstrate their creativity enables them to explore different ideas while also bringing newfound perspectives to problems. How does the hiring team help new hires show their creativity?

Increasing Productivity Levels

When given the opportunity, people thrive by applying their own unique approaches and strategies – being able to express yourself within any role has a significant positive impact on motivation which consequently raises productivity!

Finding Solutions Outside The Norm

Innovation helps overcome difficulties by thinking outside the box – new perspectives unearth fresh approaches that often get overlooked otherwise – great for unlocking ‘stuck’ scenarios. Do you feel like you'll be able to contribute in new ways in this new role?

15) Potential for meaningful impact and contribution

Enhanced Job Satisfaction

When employees are given the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on their role it helps them to feel valued and appreciated – ultimately leading to greater job satisfaction!

Improving Retention Rates

Positive changes made by team members bring recognition and pride in their work – this provides an incentive for them to stay in their current role as they understand what they’re working towards thus reducing turnover!

Increased Motivation & Performance

If employees know that they can make a difference within any particular role then they’re more inclined to be proactive – having this higher level of commitment results in better outcomes overall!

Opportunities For Growth

Being trusted with more responsibility opens up pathways towards career progression– it also encourages self-development as well as continuous learning which is beneficial for both parties involved!

Showcasing Professional Skills

Demonstrating that you’ve taken initiative shows that you’re reliable, trustworthy and capable– particularly important if applying for senior or executive positions –these types of roles demand expertise, adaptability and leadership qualities which come from seeking out new challenges!

Author: Naomi Rothwell-Boyd

Naomi is the founder of Tribe And Seek and an EMCC and CIPD accredited career coach specialising in career change. 

Her career advice comes from her work alongside ex-olympic athletes supporting corporate clients like Kraft Heinz, and creating leadership courses at the Duke Of Edinburgh's Award.

She also left a previous career in international development consulting behind, where she led UK corporate fundraising at Habitat For Humanity.

Written by

Naomi Rothwell-Boyd


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