4 Important Things to look at before deciding your next job
I don’t like my job, is it the right time to move? But, will my next job be better? What if it is worst than what I am in now?
When deciding if you should accept a job offer is always daunting and confusing. A few weeks ago, I decided to look for an opportunity elsewhere and began interview at different places.
Lucky for me, after going through a few rounds of interview with different companies, I manage to get a few offers. Some companies dropped me and I also dropped some company when I feel the role or culture of the company isn’t what I am looking for.
Many articles out there tell you to follow your passion, choose the company with the right culture and work with amazing people. All these are absolutely right! But, most of the time, is difficult to really measure these attribute. Also, what if all the job offers fit the above.
The four things that help me decided my next job. Financial, Status, Freedom and Health. Finding the balance is the most important.
The most straightforward of all four. Does the job pay well? Are you able to pay off your student/housing or whatever loan yet live comfortably? This is also always the question your friends and family will ask when you change job. e.g “Is the pay better?”
More money does not bring you as much happiness once you have enough to pay your bill and another 10–20% cushion to get your “wants”.
Instead of choosing the job that paid better, I suggest looking at a value that you are comfortable to work with.
This is related to the role you are offered, the company image and also the kind of product the company is building.
Look at this as the kind of impression you will make when introducing yourself. Example:
“I work as a software engineer at Google”.
This usually will give people the impression that you must be a really good software engineer because Google is famous for its stringent technical interview process.
For a new startup, this will be difficult. Then, we want to look at the kind of product the company is building and the vision it has. Example:
“I work as a PM in X. X goal is to enable autopilot mode for all kind of drone. We already have an app that works with model XYZ!”.
This will leave the impression that you are especially interested in drones.
Even if you do not care about statuses, you do not want to join a company that will leave a negative impression. If company Y is famous for ill-treating staff, gender discrimination, and poor management. Joining company Y will sort of signal that you agree with what they are doing.
Chasing “high” statues for the sake of it is as toxic as just looking at money alone. It is best to avoid company with bad statuses and use a combination of the rest to evaluate your choice.
How much freedom will you get if you join this new company? Freedom here is not just about the working hours or whether you can work from home / remotely for some days.
We like to evaluate the kind of thing we can do in the company and also outside the company. If you are a developer who enjoys going to conferences, giving talks and also help to organize, you will like to know if your company support it. Does the company allow you to prepare your talk during office hour? Will the company actually stop you from doing it and ask you to focus on just deliverable?
If you are someone who enjoys working on side projects during your free time or does some freelancing work, does your contract forbid you from doing it? A non-compete clause for your side project and freelancing work might make sense, but a total forbidden of working on your own side project that could potentially generate side income might be something that you like to think about again.
Finding a company that can support what you enjoy doing is crucial. Many times, it benefits both parties.
The last and most important of all is definitely health. Don’t fall into the trap where you are always making more money to fix your own health.
Some question to ask yourself: “Do I have to work through many nights to deliver something”. “Is the company always rushing to deliver and ignoring the health and mental condition of its worker”
Also, you want to look at the kind of working environment and if it is something that you can adapt to it. “Are you working in a safe from pollution environment?”, “Can my body or mental health take it if it has to travel a lot every month?”.
Some people enjoy travel and have no problem with jetlag, while some easily fall sick and feel more tired while traveling. You need to understand yourself better and know what kind of job you are going into.
How to balance it out?
At the end of the day, different people have different needs.
For someone who is younger and just enter the workforce, he might choose something that pays better financially, provide a recognizable status and sacrifices some of his freedom and health.
For someone who is older and already pay off his debt, he might choose something that pays enough, enjoys more freedom to work on his own interest, spend more time with his family and improve his mental and physical health.
No one can decide for you. Most friends and family will only be asking question-related to financial wealth and statuses, but you should definitely look at freedom and health as well when deciding. Good luck in your future endeavors!