Let’s face it. Your dream job will probably remain just that — a dream. In reality, even the best jobs come with tradeoffs. You need to decide what aspects of a position best meet your needs.
To do this, you need to narrow your focus and prioritize what you want from a job. Stop thinking about your career in terms of finding a dream job. Instead, target dream aspects — the qualities that will suit your needs best at this point in your development.
Keep in mind that this will change over time. You might want to maximize your earnings at this point in your career. Down the line, you might want the protection of the best health care benefits you can find. Someday, a flexible schedule might be your top priority.
Wherever you are in your current career, it’s important to realize that you will have to make choices. Here are some of the critical tradeoffs you’ll have to weigh as you look for your next job:
Parts of the Job To Remember Searching for Your Next Position
Pay vs. Benefits
When you consider your employment options, the size of your paycheck will naturally come into your mind first. What job offers the most money? However, this question offers a simplistic look at your compensation package.
Cash provides only a portion of the consideration you receive from an employer. Other factors come into play as well. As a result, you have to weigh your nominal salary against the value of the benefits you receive.
Health insurance represents one of the most obvious examples. One study found that half of workers make career decisions because of health care. Another data set indicated that one in every six employees toil away at a job they don’t want just to maintain their health care benefits.
Schedule vs. Compensation
Pay and benefits define the value you extract from going to work. You give up 40+ hours of your week and want adequate compensation for your sacrifice. However, that’s only one of the tradeoffs you have to consider.
For instance, you also need to consider how a job fits your lifestyle. Second- and third-shift positions often pay more. However, these schedules can disrupt your responsibilities. Meanwhile, you might be willing to give up a bigger salary if it means a remote position or flexible hours.
Stability vs. Potential
A steady paycheck is a magical thing. Not only does it keep you afloat financially, but having that guaranteed income also provides peace of mind.
However, a stable position often lacks substantial upside potential. You might be in line for small scheduled raises or the occasional promotion. But the chances of a life-altering surge in income — like you might find gambling with a risky startup — probably isn’t in your future.
When choosing positions, you have to take this dynamic into effect. During your career, the thrill and risk of a big swing might seem appealing. At other times, you’d rather put in your 40 hours a week, receive that regular, predictable cash infusion, and worry about other things.
Short-Term vs. Long-Term
Along the same lines, you have to look at each opportunity regarding your overall career. A high salary and a steady paycheck give you amazing short-term protection. But where will you be five or ten years from now?
To maximize your career trajectory, it sometimes makes sense to concentrate on professional development. A lower-paying position with more responsibility or a chance to develop crucial skills might open more doors down the line. You might increase your longer-term potential by taking a pay cut now and choosing a position that offers a better chance of gaining marketable experience.
Whatever your current situation, expert guidance can help you maximize your options. A top recruiter, like ABLE Associates, can find the position that best fits your needs.
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