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Beyond the money: Clarifying your priorities for your next job

(BUSINESS NEWS) Job hunts are about more than the base salary and payment schedule. Here are some considerations for other priorities in your job search.

Man job hunting and taking notes in notebook in front of laptop and orange background.

The process of looking for a job is like a fingerprint: Everyone has one, but each person’s is unique. To wit, it makes sense that not everyone would look for the same aspects in a desirable job—and not everyone knows where to start the search. Here are some things to add to your list when surveying new job opportunities.

There are some obvious attributes of any job search that come to mind. These things include salary, job duties, office location, workplace culture, and perhaps the likelihood of promotion after a few years. However, depending on what you want and how important each of those factors are to you, these items may be flexible—or even negligible—if they mean you can’t have something that, for you, is a crucial ancillary benefit.

Such benefits are as numerous as they are personal. You might find something like in-facility services—car-washes, dining, or a gym, for example—to be a deal-breaker, or you might want an option that includes remote days in the contract. So, how do you account for all of the little perks you want in your ideal job?

The answer, while time-intensive, is simple. Reddit user SCMX2000 recommends breaking down each large category of a job—salary, paid time off, medical, and so on—into subcategories of services and perks. For example, your “Salary” category might include the base salary, bonuses, frequency of payroll, whether or not you have a 401k, and so on.

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Once you have exhausted your list of categories and subcategories, you can go back through and figure out what your deal-breakers are. This way, you aren’t just setting a salary and payment schedule as your goal—you’re quantifying your own worth in material terms. If you go into a job hunt—and, later, an interview—with those in mind, you’re much more likely to get exactly what you want rather than an approximation.

Of course, you might find yourself in the camp of “any job is fine” right now. If that’s the case, it’s still worth your time to classify your ideal job perks—should you find yourself in an interview where you have some autonomy, you’ll never regret being overprepared.

Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Marta Simeonova

    August 19, 2021 at 11:35 am

    Great article and great advice. And this should be done every time one sets out to look for a new job as our priorities shift over time. At a certain point in our lives, salary might be the most important factor, but a few years later our main priority might shift and we may be looking for a specific company culture or even manager.

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