What Should You Look For in Your Next Job?

Posted by Karissa Justice | Job Seekers

Many people start a job search because they’re unhappy with their current job or because they want to pursue better financial opportunities. But sometimes job seekers get so focused on the problem they are trying to leave behind, that they don’t focus on what to look for in their next job. Other ways to ask this question are: “What do you want your next job to add to your life?” or “What values do you want your next workplace to have?” It’s a hard question to answer, so here are some of the most common things job searchers look for in their next job to get you started:

I want to find a job with flexible and balanced time commitments:

  • I want a job that never asks me to work more than 40 hours a week.
  • I want a job where I can leave early to pick up my child from daycare and finish work at home.
  • I want a job where people really take time off on vacation.

I want to find a job with a great manager:

  • I want a manager that cares about me as a person and understands that COVID and racial trauma impact someone’s ability to be productive.
  • I want a manager who actively advocates for me to company leadership and looks for opportunities for me to advance my career.
  • I want a manager who doesn’t micromanage and trusts me to do a great job.

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I want to find a job with real advancement and learning opportunities:

  • I want a company that will pay for me to go to conferences and workshops to improve my craft.
  • I want a company with a structured program to develop and promote internal managers.
  • I want a company where I’ll be able to wear many hats and develop new skills often.

I want to find a job doing meaningful work:

  • I want a job where I can directly see how my work has a positive impact on others.
  • I want a job at a company working to solve [climate change | child poverty | systemic racism | hunger | etc. ].
  • I want a job at a company that is employee owned, where my voice matters.

Make a list of everything you hope to gain at your next job. At Tech Jobs For Good, we try to ensure that all of our job postings meet the criteria for meaningful work, but that doesn’t mean every job will meet your other needs. If you’re not sure, always opt for a great manager and learning opportunities, especially if you’re a new grad or returning to the workforce after a long time away. 

It’s important to know what you're looking for in a job, and not just what you want to get away from, because it will help you narrow and target your job search better. If you are coming from an especially draining or toxic work environment, it will also help you talk about why you are job searching with a more positive framing. No matter what your career goal is, you can find a workplace or job that matches your needs.

What Should You Look For in Your Next...

This article or portions of this article was written by Karissa Justice and originally appeared on Work Can Be Better.