Decisions, Decisions: How To Pick The Job That's Right For You

11 February 2018 By Alastair Cleland

1614 Original

​Picture the scene... You're a few years into your career, and with proven experience under your belt, your 'value' on the 'talent market' has skyrocketed. Now everyone wants a piece of you!

So, with lots of new and exciting job opportunities open to you, how to you choose the one that's right for you? Making the right decision is easier said than done.

Deciding on our next job opportunity is becoming a more regular occurrence. We’re changing jobs more than ever before: an average of 10-15 times per career (even more if you’re a millennial). But when you’re faced with the prospect of a new challenge with another company, assessing whether it’s going to be right for you can be a minefield. This is particularly true in the digital space when you want your skills to stay relevant.

Whilst you can’t predict the future, there are certain factors you should consider. Here’s some of our tips from many years helping candidates’ careers in the digital sector. 

How To Pick The Best Job For You

With so much to consider when choosing between job opportunities, it can be tricky to know where to start. Beyond the important 'gut feeling', here are some key factors you'll want to consider:

1 -  The job itself day to day

Although salary and future progression are important, if you don’t enjoy the actual work you’re likely to be unhappy. Ask yourself; would I look forward to going to work? Is the work creatively, technically or intellectually stimulating enough? Does it play to my skills?  

2 - The People

Do you think your manager is someone who you’d work well with? Could you go for a drink with the people on the team? Who you work with plays a key role in determining how much you enjoy your job: it’s important you feel you can get along with them. 

3 - The money

Money isn’t everything, but it’s important, and the weight you should place on money will depend on your financial situation, lifestyle and how much you value a hefty paycheck. Is the job fairly paid for the level it is? (If it’s not at market rate, that says something about the employer). Do some number crunching and work out what salary you could comfortably live on.  

4 - Company Culture

Is there a long hours culture or do people work from home? Is the atmosphere corporate or relaxed? Is it a small, tightly knit team or a large, buzzing office with 500+ people? Do you believe in the mission of the company – is it something you’d like to be part of? These factors should all weigh in. 

5 - Opportunities for progression

Lack of career opportunities is one of the most common reasons for leaving a role. So when assessing a new job, figure out where it fits with your long-term plan – is it going to help you get to the next level? Look out for positive indicators like a culture of internal progression or a high company growth trajectory.

6 - The company

Think like an investor and do your due diligence. Are they stable? Headed in the right direction? In a good sector? A market leader? What are their future plans - do they plan on expanding internationally / going through an IPO / getting acquired - and if so, does that fit into your career plan?

7 - The industry you are joining 

If you’re in the tech space, you’ve probably chosen a good career path, however its always worth considering the prospects of the industry you’re getting into. For example, Fintech is booming in the UK (of the Deloitte Fast50, 13 companies were in the Fintech space.

8 - How the role fits with your lifestyle

Factors like where the office is located, the hours pattern, how far the commute is, and whether you’ll have to travel in the role can sometimes make or break an opportunity.

Advice if you're deciding on whether to take an offer:

1. Weight up the pros and cons...

If you’ve got a hard choice to make, this tried and tested method can help you to see things clearer. (The analytically minded amongst us might try scoring companies based on various factors, weighting them for relative importance to you).

2. ...But it's usually best to follow your gut

If you’ve got a niggling feeling that the opportunity might not be right even though it seems great on paper, trust your gut - it’s usually right!

3. Make sure you're addressed anything outstanding

Ideally any concerns or questions will have been addressed at interview stage, but if not, it’s better to raise them now rather than regret saying nothing later. Details like home working, regularity of salary reviews can be important factors.

4. Don't be afraid to take (calculated) risks

Although this obviously depends on your situation and the extent of the risk, taking a slight pay cut or joining a start-up can be a great experience if other factors are adding up. 

5. Prepare for the counter offer

So you’ve been offered the role. But your employer is reluctant to see you go. They offer better pay, more benefits and a new desk. Although it might seem like the easier way to go. Remember these key points; why now? Will there be changes? And Why you handed in your notice in the first place?