There is a lot to take into consideration when searching for a job or deciding whether your current job is right for you. Factors like growth potential, company culture, personal enjoyment, and compensation each play a significant role in whether or not a job is right for you. Finding the right balance of each can be tricky, but entirely worth the effort, since the majority of us spend most of our waking hours at work.
Taking the time to consider all aspects of a job (either your current position or a potential one) can make a significant impact on your overall life outlook – but how will you know when you’ve found the right fit? Though a perfect match is not always a guarantee, taking stock of your thoughts, wants, and needs can help you come as close to career bliss as possible.
An easy way to tell right off the bat if your job is right for you is to ask yourself, “Do I like what I do every day?” This doesn’t mean you love 100% of your responsibilities. The idea of finding your “passion” is thrown around quite a bit as we decide what career to pursue. Yes, finding that special vocation that feels like what you were born to do would be spectacular, and it’s a noble goal. However, we should challenge the notion that we need to find a career that truly never feels like work – you may search forever and never find it, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. For the most part, though, it is important that you come to work each day feeling positive about the day ahead, and excited about the things you’re setting out to accomplish.
Not everyone responds well to the same leadership styles. You may prefer a more hands-on approach, or maybe you like to work a bit more independently. If your current boss doesn’t align with the style you prefer, you’ll have to decide whether that is a big enough hindrance to start considering other opportunities. If you’re interviewing for a new position, ask your potential boss what his or her leadership style looks like to see if it aligns with your work style.
Even if you are working your dream job, being underpaid can lead to resentment and unhappiness. Take the time to consider what salary and benefits you need, want, and deserve, and check out Glassdoor’s Salary Guide to see how your pay stacks up to the average salary of others with similar job titles and level of experience. PayScale is another great tool to find out your market worth based on your experience, background, and current company.
Consider the length of your daily commute as well as what attractions are nearby to your office. Do you want to be close to good restaurants, parks, and/or schools? How far from family and friends are you willing to travel?
Over time, a difficult commute can lead to frustration in your professional and personal life. If you know that you don’t want to spend over an hour commuting to and from work each day, avoid applying for jobs where a long commute is possible.
A positive work environment is essential to your job satisfaction and overall happiness. As we mentioned, you spend most of your life at work, so not getting along with your colleagues is a significant con to any job. Culture encompasses quite a bit – dress code, leadership style, time off, company values, and more. All are important to consider as you reflect on your position.
A job that challenges you to put forth your best effort while helping you to further hone your talents will fulfill you much more in the long run than one in which you can skate by without putting in too much effort. When considering whether a job is right for you, ask yourself: Does this job allow me to showcase my skills, will they be valued by my colleagues and supervisors, and how can I grow and adopt new skills?
Similar to #6, your perfect job is somewhat fluid, meaning you can see yourself developing within and outside of it. As you advance as a professional, your colleagues and supervisors should encourage your growth and entrust you with greater responsibilities, ideally ones that align more with your particular interests. The right career fit will allow you to always be learning, whether you’re an entry-level employee or a department head.
The right job for you may not check off everything on this list, but it should meet most of them. If you come to the conclusion that a job just isn’t a good fit, it may be time to take the next step by starting your search for a new opportunity or withdrawing your candidacy from a job you’re pursuing.
Making the decision to quit or say no to a job can be scary and might have short-term consequences. However, you will be grateful for the care you took during your search when you find the job that best aligns with your skills, wants, and needs.
If you decide to begin searching for a new job, check out Career Group Companies’ Job Seekers page for our latest opportunities!