It can take years to find the right job. Some people are lucky enough to walk straight into their dream job almost immediately, but for most of us, it is a trial and error process. Many factors determine whether a job is right for you. In this article, we are going to examine some of them.
Different Types of Job
There are many different types of job, but in general, jobs can be defined as casual and permanent, career-based jobs. Casual jobs are the kind we take on during college, or when we need to earn some extra money. They could be anything from waiting tables, washing cars, or even dressing up as a giant hamburger and handing out leaflets to attract punters for a new fast-food restaurant on the edge of town.
Casual jobs are a rite of passage. They are a stepping stone on the road to something better. There is nothing wrong with working in a diner your whole life, but if you are not on a permanent contract or only waiting tables part-time to pay for a college education, this job is unlikely to be permanent.
Many casual, low-paid jobs are paid by the hour. People who are paid by the hour are not entitled to perks such as holiday pay or sick pay. There is very little job security and being paid by the hour makes it hard to work out whether you can afford to take out a loan or book a vacation. An hourly paycheck calculator will help you work out whether you can afford these things, but in general, a casual job is, as the name suggests, not permanent and therefore you would be unwise to make any major life decisions based on your pay check.
Permanent Career Jobs
Career jobs are different. This type of job will, hopefully, lead you further up your chosen career ladder. You start off in a low-paid position, but your main aim is to gain experience with a view to being promoted into a more challenging job.
A career job is anything but casual. Ideally, you are given a permanent contract with all the benefits that entails, including sick pay, holiday pay, and other perks. Irrespective of whether you intend on staying for the long-term, a permanent position affords a measure of security. You can apply for a mortgage, put down roots, and look forward to a steady wage for the foreseeable future. There is no such thing as a “job for life” these days, but a permanent position with an established company is the next best thing.
There are many ways to determine whether a job is right for you, but in the main, how suitable a job is will come down to three things: money, career prospects, and job satisfaction. How much importance you attach to each one depends on your current circumstances and personality.
Money, as you might expect, is very important to most people. Money makes the world go round and without a decent paycheck, most of us can’t afford to pay the bills or put food on the table. However, the relative importance of money and non-financial job perks is influenced by other things, such as age, non-job related income, and responsibilities.
For example, a college student living on a healthy trust fund income may not need to work at all, but they choose to so they can gain experience. In this instance, the paycheck is immaterial and they might well decide to apply for a non-paying internship. Money is also less important to older people with another income, or even spouses supported by their partners. For all of these people, job satisfaction or career prospects are more important than the money.
On the other side of the coin, a single mom with three kids to support needs all the money she can get, so paycheck trumps job satisfaction every time. However, she might take a lower paid job if it opens doors to a better future.
Some jobs are never going anywhere whereas others offer good career prospects with the chance of progressing to a better-paid job. Lower paid jobs tend to have lower career prospects, although plenty of people start at the bottom of an organization and work their way to the top. Nevertheless, most people who apply for a job waiting tables don’t expect to become a manager unless the job description explicitly suggests that this is a managerial training opportunity.
Job satisfaction comes down to whether you love your job, even though the pay is terrible and there are no immediate prospects for promotion. For example, you might elect to leave your fabulously well-paid job as an investment banker, move to the country and open a farm shop selling artisan cheeses. Your new career won’t pay you multi-million dollar bonuses, but from an enjoyment perspective, it could be the best thing you ever did.
Is Your Job Right for You?
We come back to the opening question. Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer, so sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil and make a list of pros and cons.
Pros might include good pay, nice colleagues, useful perks, and a short commute, whereas cons might include a horrible boss, rude customers, and zero chance of advancement. How important each of these factors is will determine whether the job is right for you.
For example, if you need the money because you have medical bills to pay off or you don’t want a long commute because your partner relies on you to collect the kids from daycare, leaving your current job is probably not a good idea right now. However, if your boss is stressing you out and you can’t face another day dealing with obnoxious customers, a healthy paycheck may not be enough to keep you going back.
Use your judgment and don’t make any rash decisions before thinking it through and discussing the situation with your family.