When I was younger, the main thing I used to consider before applying for a job was the hourly wage. I would occasionally look at other factors, but money always overruled them. I quickly learned my lesson when I got a job that paid generously, but made me feel miserable. I dreaded having long shifts there and I would count the hours until the end of the day. Much of it had to do with the environment, but it was mostly because I felt bored and stuck. When I finally left, I was encouraged to stay with a higher pay.
Remembering how it made me feel was enough for me to quit anyway. This whole experience helped me figure out that there is more to job satisfaction than money, and I started taking it more seriously the moment I realized that working was such an integral part of my life. There are now many factors that I consider both before applying for a job and after getting a new one to figure out if it’s the right one for me. They can have a great long-term impact on your mental health, your work experience and the relationships that you form. So, here they are:
1. Opportunities for advancement and continuing education No matter where you are in life, you should always be open to learning. Continuing education can take many forms: weekly seminars or workshops that help you get better at your job or learn skills that are virtually relevant to any fields.
2. Development of a diversity of skills One of the most valuable things you can gain from a job is a set of skills that are applicable anywhere. Employers usually do so by varying your daily tasks or by challenging you. This allows you to venture outside of your comfort zone and learn more. If a job has this kind of dynamic, it is worth considering.
3. A good working environment A good working environment makes for high motivation and increased productivity. Eventually, we feed off the energy that is in the workplace so it’s important to make sure it’s a positive one. A good environment goes hand in hand with the company’s culture. If it’s a culture that promotes social bonding, openness, cooperativeness and integrity, it will encourage the employees to feel comfortable while sticking to the job at hand.
4. Flexibility Your social life is just as important as your work life. Both aspects contribute to your long-term satisfaction and happiness. It’s important to work at a company that sees you as a human being first and understands that you will occasionally need time for yourself.
5. Stability Some positions offer great pay and awesome opportunities but only last a few months. While this is not always a bad thing, you have to think about it in the context of your situation. If what you’re looking for is a transitional experience, go for it! If not, you should probably think about it twice.
6. Feedback and recognition It’s rewarding to be recognized for our accomplishments. It makes us feel like our work matters and that we’re an important part of the company. Employers, especially highly demanding ones, should always let their employees know how grateful they are for the job they’re doing. On the other hand, it can be extremely useful to offer constructive feedback because progress is not really achievable without a conscious awareness of our strengths or weaknesses.
7. Connection with your long-term goals Most importantly, don’t ever lose sight of the ultimate prize. Every job is an opportunity to act and be closer to your goals. Even though a job may not be directly related to the field you’re hoping to get into, it can be a stepping stone. You might gain the set of skills that you’ll need for your dream job or find the opportunity to meet mentors and people who can enrich you with their experience. These are all things that you should consider if your goal is to do something that you love and get paid for it.