When I was younger, all I really valued in a job was a paycheck. So I've held a variety of positions I wasn't particularly passionate about, because the money was all that mattered to me. As I grew older, my mindset changed completely.
In evaluating positions, I now also consider the potential for job satisfaction, the learning opportunities and educational resources available to employees, as well as the chances of upward mobility. These are aspects of a job that are just as important to me now. If these things matter to you too and you're a job candidate, here are some factors to consider when contemplating an offer:
Connection to your long-term goals
Will this job help you get closer to your long-term professional goals? Perhaps it will give you access to a network or be an opportunity to develop a set of skills that you will need for the future. While having a secure paycheck is great, don't let that make you lose sight of your ultimate goals. Yes, you can have the best of both worlds—a job that pays well and brings you closer to your dreams. Take the time to map out the less obvious benefits, write down how they can enable your future plans, then decide accordingly.
A healthy work environment
A healthy work environment is the basis for excellent work performance and positive relationship building. It also has a huge impact on your motivation, job satisfaction and productivity. As such, you want to be clear about the environment you'll be joining. If possible, spend a day shadowing the team you'll be joining and talk to each member. This will give you a firsthand experience of what it's like to work at that company. At the interview, ask about the office culture and observe how the employees interact with each other. Of course, your hiring manager will sell it to you, but go above and beyond to get as much insights and form your own opinion. Read reviews. Try to shadow the team and grab coffee with each person to gather as much insights as possible. Ultimately, you will only know what it's like once you're in it, but doing your research can help make the right decision.
Learning opportunities and chances of upward mobility
Once you adapt to your workload and get into a routine, you may find yourself asking what's next. How can you continue to grow in your role? What new responsibilities could you challenge yourself with and that would lead to your next promotion? A job that continuously gives you opportunities to grow or promotes you based on your work performance, will not only help you thrive internally, but you will also be more marketable if you ever leave. This opens doors to many opportunities, both within the company and outside of it. So no matter how comfortable you are in your role, always seek opportunities for advancement.