April 2024 | Culture fit, Recruitment, Job search

 Yes, salary is important! But if you are in professional services and looking to make your next move, here are some important factors to consider…

With rising interest rates, fewer job opportunities and the fear of a possible recession, the opportunity to take on a new role with a salary increase may be tempting. But when reevaluating your current role or applying for another, it is necessary to consider the many other factors that will influence whether a new role is going to be the right fit for you in the short or long-term.

In today’s dynamic job landscape, changing firms has become a common occurrence. Candidates are motivated by different things – career advancement, personal growth, financial pressure or other external circumstances. While the allure of new opportunities can be exciting, there are a number of key considerations for individuals to weigh up when contemplating a change, to ensure a smooth and rewarding transition.

Below are some of elements you may want to look at or question, as well as some tips on what to look out for to increase the likelihood of moving to a role where you have job satisfaction, are successful and achieve longevity.

1. Career Alignment: Assess whether the prospective role aligns with your long-term career goals and aspirations. Consider how the new position fits into your career trajectory and whether it offers opportunities for growth, skill development, and advancement. A job that aligns with your values, interests, and professional objectives is more likely to foster long-term job satisfaction and fulfillment.

2. Company Culture: Evaluate your prospective employer’s organisational culture. Think about their values, work environment, and employee attitudes. Determine whether the company’s culture aligns with your preferences and working style. A positive and supportive culture can contribute significantly to job satisfaction and overall well-being.

3. People: Are these people you can see ourself working with, in the long-term? Try to determine whether a company – and the people in it – are actually living their values. Can you see them in action in how they work, how they lead, how they support their employees and the causes they support? As referenced in this article, it can be useful to talk to people from within the organisation to discover whether the company values are reflected in day to day working life. Interestingly, this Lawyers Weekly article writes about the trend that young lawyers “care about working with partners and other senior lawyers who are good people, handle great quality work, roll up their sleeves and get in the trenches with the younger guys and actually care about their team”. If this is you, pay attention to the way senior team members interact with their more junior colleagues and ask questions about exposure to leadership to help with your decision.

4. Compensation and Benefits: Compare the compensation package, including salary, bonuses, benefits, and perks, offered by the prospective employer with your current remuneration. Consider not only the immediate financial gains but also the long-term benefits such as retirement plans, healthcare coverage, and career advancement opportunities. Factor in the cost of living, potential for salary growth, and overall financial stability. Are you really better off?

5. Work-Life Balance: Evaluate the work-life balance offered by the new role and how it aligns with your personal priorities and commitments. Consider factors such as working hours, flexibility, remote work options, and vacation policies. Striking a balance between professional responsibilities and personal life is crucial for overall well-being and job satisfaction. In this Lawyers Weekly article, younger Gen Z candidates are cited as valuing flexibility above all else, so firms should be well-aware of this when engaging with their candidates about options available. Don’t be afraid to ask. Pay attention to what is said during the hiring process. It’s a good sign if the hiring manager asks questions about what you need to perform at your best, and what your core values are. Remember that flexibility “is a close cousin to autonomy” which indicates an employer respects your capacity to choose how to work, as discussed in this Seek article on workplace culture. If you are self-motivated and need to feel trusted to deliver desired outcomes – make sure you communicate this during the interview process.

6. Opportunities for Learning and Development: Assess the opportunities for learning, skill development, and career advancement within the new role and organisation. Consider whether the company offers training programs, mentorship opportunities, and support for continued education. This may be in the form of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Seminar Presentations, industry events or internal training, management or mentoring. A job that allows you to continuously learn and grow professionally can enhance your career prospects and job satisfaction, so remember to ask what will be available to you.

7. Location and Commute: Take into account the location of the new job and the associated commute time and expenses. Think about how your views may have changed post-Covid. While you may have had long commutes before, is it something you want to do again? Consider the driving time, parking or time on public transport. If you are in a role that requires you to travel, also weigh up the allowances, parking, and budgets. Add up the travel time required for each quarter, including the time to travel to different office locations etc. If it’s too much, you may want to look elsewhere.

8. Job Stability and Growth Potential: Consider the stability of the prospective employer and the industry the organisation operates in. Evaluate whether the role offers opportunities for advancement, career progression, and job security. Assessing job stability and growth potential is essential for making informed career decisions. What is the staff turnover and why? Is this a newly created role? Do they have progression plans or clear KPIs? If not, are they putting them in place? What will happen if you meet or exceed your KPIs?

9. Feedback and Reviews: Does the firm provide regular reviews? Did your last? What is your working style – are you seeking regular feedback or are you looking for more autonomy (keep in mind where you are in your career).

10. Exit Strategy and Transition Plan: Develop a clear exit strategy and transition plan before resigning from your current job. Consider factors such as notice period, handover responsibilities, and maintaining positive relationships with colleagues and supervisors. Prepare to tie up loose ends and make a smooth transition to the new role while minimising disruptions to your current employer.

Changing jobs is a significant decision that requires careful thought. Salary and financial considerations are incredibly important, but as outlined in this article, there are many other elements that will determine your success in your new role. By considering aspects such as career alignment, company culture, compensation, work-life balance, learning opportunities, location, job stability and regular feedback, you will be able to make more informed choices that align with your own professional and personal goals.

Remember that your own circumstances and priorities are unique, so take the time to evaluate what matters most to you before embarking on a new career journey. As always, if you would like to discuss any of this, please get in touch.

Happy recruiting!

Author: Alex Monks

Image by: Andrea Piacquadio