Selecting the right opportunities is critical to not becoming a job-hopper. It has a huge impact on your track record, job satisfaction, quality of life and long-term earnings potential. What are the factors you should consider beyond simply compensation and geography?
The Opportunity—There are a number of considerations beyond simply title, compensation and major responsibilities. Are you comfortable with the person you will report to? What is the quality of your staff (if it is a managerial role or leadership role) and the nature of available resources? What objectives and timeframes will your performance be measured against? Are the company’s expectations realistic? Are you comfortable that your prior experiences and skill sets will enable you to succeed? Do you know why the role is vacant? How long has the organization been trying to fill the position? Importantly, is this an opportunity that fits your career game plan and makes your profile more attractive? Are there further advancement opportunities available in the organization? How fully will your skills and experience be utilized in this role? Is there a significant void that you are filling or will you be one many similar roles?
Quality of the Organization—Generally, the quality of the organization you are joining should be an important factor in your decision. Do you believe in this organization and its products and/or services? Does the organization have an opportunity for business growth, innovation or improved performance? Do you respect the people who work there? Would you be proud to say you work for this company? What is the company’s reputation? Importantly, what does its financial health and stability look like?
The People—Do you like your future co-workers, boss, peers and others in the organization who will play a significant role in your happiness and success? What have you observed during the interview process? How were you welcomed and treated? What level of happiness and satisfaction did you witness during your interactions with others at the company? What were their values? Were their values in alignment with yours? Were you comfortable in their presence? Did you feel that they were open and candid in answering your questions? Are there people at this organization you will learn from?
The Environment—Work environment is determined primarily by the size, purpose, and setting of an organization. Other environmental factors would include the physical nature of the workspace, staffing, and length of commute. Environment does influence—but should not be equated to—the culture of an organization. The environment is what you go to each day. For example, the environment of a large corporation versus that of a small start-up is worlds apart. Working from home is very different than going into an office each day. Similarly, profit versus non-profit, public versus private, domestic versus international are all different environments. It is important to have a good idea of the types of environments where you are comfortable.
The Culture—Culture is about how an organization conducts its business day to day – its beliefs, values and behaviors. Culture is a major factor in how successful and happy an executive is in his or her job. An organization’s culture determines how employees and management interact, solve problems, make decisions, and treat each other and customers. Culture determines whether advancement is merit or tenure based, how employees are treated, diversity and inclusion practices, process orientation, openness to change, and commitment to a larger or deeper purpose. Companies with distinct and attractive cultures are sought after by top professionals. Think about the types of cultures you have worked in previously and where you have flourished.
Stability of the Company—Companies prefer candidates with a track record of relative stability (on average 4-5+ year average in prior companies) and history of promotions within some of those organizations, not just by switching employers. Before accepting an offer be sure to consider the stability of the new company. How long has the management team been in place? How long has your potential boss been with the organization? What is your potential boss’s own track record of stability? What is the financial health of the business? Has the employer been in the news as a potential acquisition target? How long was your predecessor in the role? What happened to that individual? Is this a new role? If so, has it been properly defined and structured with adequate resources, staffing and expectations for you to succeed? Are others in the organization supportive of this role? Will there be growth and promotion opportunities to keep you satisfied for a longer period of time?