5 things you need to consider when choosing your next job

24 February 2023 Sharyn Waterworth

How To Choose Your Next Job

It’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed not only the way we work but our expectations around work as well. For many, the global crisis was a wake-up call and gave them the push they needed to start their own business or seek out better job opportunities.

While making these big life decisions can be exciting and empowering, there can be a downside to making impulsive career decisions without weighing all the factors.

According to a recent survey conducted by The Muse, 72% of respondents said they’ve experienced something called “shift shock” after starting a new position.

What is shift shock?
It’s when a company or position is different from what employees were led to believe it would be. And it often leads them to regret making the decision to leave their former position or company.

The grass, unfortunately, isn’t always greener. So, how can you choose your next job and ensure it does live up to your expectations? These are the five factors you need to consider before making the leap.

How to choose your next job

  1. Job description

If you’re in job search mode, you’re likely reading multiple job listings every day. You’ve probably become pretty good at skimming through the job listing boards, which is fine — you don’t need to know a job ad off by heart — but when it comes to choosing your next job, you do need to pay close attention to a few key points.

As recruitment experts, we see and write job descriptions every day. Here are the most important points to pay attention to:

  • What themes, skills and qualities are repeated throughout the job ad? Repetition means they’re important and vital to succeeding in the role.

  • The order of information — what skills and responsibilities are listed first? The most important attributes tend to appear at the beginning of a role, with attributes with less significance towards the end.

  • What qualifications are they looking for? This should immediately tell you whether you’re a viable match for the role. In saying that, in some cases, you should still apply even if your qualifications aren’t exact. For example, if they’re looking for someone with 2+ years

  • experience in a field, with certain qualifications, but you’ve been in the industry for longer and have the experience, you should still apply.

  • What the roles entail and what the daily tasks are. Can you see yourself performing these tasks every day? Are you interested in learning more about this area, or would you quickly become bored and/or frustrated by the job?

Prepping for your next job interview? Read our blog: 4 questions you should ask at the end of a job interview.

  1. Salary and benefits

How to choose your next job often comes down to salary. Before your interview, research the average salary for the position you’re going for. You can use platforms such as PayScale or GlassDoor to do this.

While these tools can give you a good idea of the job landscape, you also need to decide what your experience is worth and what you need from a company in order to move forward with a job offer.

In saying that, don’t forget to factor in additional benefits like flexible working arrangements, child care, personal development programs, or extra time off. Identify your priorities and decide whether you'd be comfortable taking a lower salary in exchange for great benefits.

  1. Management Style

It can be difficult to gauge this factor without seeing how an organisation operates on a daily basis, but before your interview, consider what you liked (and didn't like) about previous managers. You should use this to guide your search for a future employer.

During your interview, ask about the team, how they work, and your potential boss's management style. Just like when analysing a job description, read between the lines. What are their nonverbal queues like? Are they quick to praise, or does their response seem impersonal — like they’re reading a predetermined reply?

  1. Work culture

When it comes to choosing your next job, work culture is an important, but often overlooked factor. Just like management style, getting a good feel for a company’s culture is tricky but crucial to making the right employment decision.

In job ads, companies sometimes focus on what they're looking for and don't provide enough information about what they can offer. Research the company and see what its values are on its website. Keep in mind this is an external representation and may not be authentic to the internal environment.

Social media can be more telling, so visit their various pages and see what they post. Do they celebrate their employees? Do their employees interact with posts? What does their work environment look like? What do they stand for? What issues are they silent on?

Once you’ve done your own research, you can ask about the company culture during your interview. However, it's important to know what you're looking for before you can claim a company's culture is the right one for you.

Figure out what your nonnegotiables are:

  • Do you need a flexible working arrangement? Or a workplace that’s socially vibrant and involved?

  • Do you want to be friends with your coworkers or acquaintances?

  • What were your favourite things about past jobs?

  • Is a company that lives its values important to you?

Ask yourself these questions to get a clear picture of what you want.

To learn more about company culture, visit our blog: Why the culture of your company is more important than you think

  1. Career advancement

A sign of a great company is one that invests in the future of its employees. This can be shown in a few ways: through professional development opportunities and career growth opportunities.

Firstly, is your continued learning a priority? Do they want to see you succeed and improve? Or, do you get the feeling they just need a role filled and aren’t interested in your progress?

You also need to consider what your career goals are. Can this company facilitate the kind of career progression you’re looking for? Or does this role feel like a dead end?

Although the role might suit you now, you need to think about yourself in a few years' time. Otherwise, you’ll be entering job search mode again sooner rather than later.

Preparing for a job change? Visit our blog: 4 tips for moving your career forward in 2023.

Are you on the hunt for a new position? Visit our Jobs Board to find a role that suits you or contact us here.