When deciding on whether a new job is right for you, it’s important to look past the paycheck. While salary is important, it doesn’t always spell happiness.
Here are things to when looking for a new job
Passion: One good indicator of your happiness is how passionate you are about the work you’re doing. Ask yourself if the company’s mission excites you. This can be a good indicator of whether the job will be a good fit.
Benefits: Remember that your base salary is just one part of your compensation package. Insurance, paid time off, equity, bonuses, and more should all be considered and negotiated before signing on the dotted line.
Hours: Not every office job is a 9 to 5. Before committing to a job change, reach an understanding with your potential employer of expectations for regular working hours. Beyond whether your start time is 9:00 or 10:00 a.m, try to get an idea of how much after-hours work is considered normal.
Growth Opportunities: During the interview process, be sure to ask about advancement opportunities within the company. Doing so will not only help paint a better picture for you of what a future with that employer may look like but shows the hiring manager that you are looking to invest your time and talents in the company long-term. And while the traditional growth trajectory includes promotions to more senior roles within your department, it’s also smart to ask about horizontal opportunities. As your skills and interests evolve, you may find you want to pursue a lateral move to a different area within the company.
Office Culture: Getting a handle on your new position can also be your window into one of the most elusive decision-making factors: the company’s office culture. Are the employees at your new job happy? Do they enjoy working for the company—and with one another—and do they feel like their work is valued? While something intangible like office culture can be tricky to figure out prior to your start date, the answers to questions about flexible hours, team-building events, and regular reviews can be a valuable litmus test.
The Team: Nothing affects office culture more than your co-workers, which is why it’s a good idea to meet as many as you can during the interview process. It’s also important to take a look at personnel higher up the ladder. Do some research to learn a bit about the people who will be your managers. Do you see mentorship potential in any of them? Do they have a track record of supporting more junior talent? And look outside the immediate hierarchy—if there were to be a management shakeup, would you be happy with new leadership?
Company History and Stability: It can’t be stressed enough that you need to do a bit of research on your potential employer before making anything official. Do they have a track record of layoffs and cutbacks? Are they making headlines for the right reasons (such as reaching new audience milestones or expanding the business) or ones that raise red flags (legal issues, financial troubles)? While joining a start-up can be exciting, it’s also a huge risk—be realistic about whether it’s a good time for you to take one.