By Raheela Gill Anwar

What does it mean when someone says, “I just got a better job”?

“Better” is subjective and based on personal preferences. Whether leaving a job voluntarily or involuntarily, the choice to accept a new role is entirely yours. And with the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, today’s career marketplace offers individuals more choices than ever.

So what makes a new job better or worse? Below is a list of considerations one should take into account. The unique combination of these factors that works for YOU is what makes the difference.

  • Base pay
  • Bonus/cash incentive
  • Long-term pay (stock, options)
  • Flexibility/work from home
  • Overall hours
  • Commute time
  • Travel
  • Relationship with leader
  • Type of colleagues
  • Meaningful nature of company’s work
  • Benefits package (health, life insurance, daycare)
  • Recognition (formal and informal)
  • Voice at the table

From this list, it’s clear that the decision can become quite complex. As a result, most people focus on the most tangible factors such as compensation and benefits. But the data shows that different age groups of job seekers seek different things in a new opportunity. Every individual must account for their lifestyle needs, personal situation (married/single, kids, expenses, urban/rural), career status/trajectory, etc. From years of working with a range of professionals, from CEOs to individual contributors, I can tell you that I have never seen two individuals in the same situation.

Here’s what we advise our clients in transition:

  • Prioritize what is important to you during the interview process based on the list above (and other factors). You could even assign weights to each item and rate the offer against those. Ask a few people who know you well, professionally and personally, to look at your priorities list and help you gain clarity.
  • After receiving a written offer, prepare a list of questions and do as much research as necessary with the hiring managers, recruiters, and people you know who either work there or have left the company.
  • The decision to continue looking for a different role after receiving one or more offers is a difficult one, but it is sometimes the correct choice. Don’t overlook this as an option.
  • Inform your network that you have received an offer or multiple offers (if you are in an open search). This can be helpful in garnering input on other organizations that might benefit from conversations with you.

So is your new job better than your previous one? You decide.