Five years ago I graduated from IU Bloomington and officially entered the real world. I spent endless hours researching various companies, attending career fairs, joining networking events, and polishing my interview skills. It all paid off when I received job offers. (And mom and dad could be rest assured that the past four years of tuition was well worth it).
But then what? The ball was now in my court. It was time for me to make a decision on where I’d like to begin my career.
Being the analytical person that I am, I immediately charted out all my options. What was important to me and how did each factor weigh against another? What came to mind first was annual salary and benefits. These were easy criteria to rank; which one is greater or better? Done. Decision made? Not a chance!
With the amount of hours spent at work each day, there are several other components that can affect your employment experience. But what’s more important is the amount of influence your career can have on your personal life. I quickly wrote down growth opportunities, work-life balance, professional development and training, culture, location, PTO, extra perks like on-site fitness center or cafeteria, tuition reimbursement, flexible work weeks, etc.
How did these all rank? How did they weigh into my final decision?
In the end, I accepted an offer that didn’t provide the highest compensation. Financially I figured I would be fine and be able to pay the bills. What I was more concerned with was how well I fit in with the culture and team, where I saw my career path going, and how the company would help me achieve my goals.
As a Millennial, I’ve been preached to that if you do something you enjoy, you’ll be happy and most productive. And I truly believe that. In fact, 50% of Millennials say that having a “job you enjoy” is “extremely important,” compared with just 38% of Baby Boomers.1
Regardless of which generation you fit into, it’s important to determine where your needs rank. Ask yourself: Does my current employment experience align with my criteria? Put your employer hat on for a second and think of that question in another way: Does your experience stand out amongst your competitors?