For the majority of people, the primary means in which they build up our wealth, especially in the early years of their lives, is through a salaried job. Arguably, after years of compulsory education, tertiary studies, and internship experiences in Singapore, you have one of the best possible chance at landing a good job.
The modern jobs landscape
Unlike past generations, employees in the modern job market are more empowered to switch jobs. In fact, Singapore employees reportedly switch jobs every four years on average, which mean they will work in up to 11 jobs in the span of their career.
Singapore also enjoys a relative low unemployment rate, at around 2%, compared to other matured economies, giving employees even greater bargaining power and options in their job hunt.
While this is positive for workers in Singapore, it also means you will be weighing up job offers on a regular basis. It is also no longer enough to evaluate a job based solely on how much it pays. Given that it is highly unlikely you will stay in the same company or job for your entire career, any job that you take on needs to be a stepping-stone to the next one, as well as be sustainable for you from a career fulfillment and health perspective.
To help you decide whether to take on a particular job offer, here are 5 other factors you should consider, besides what your salary will be.
#1 Career progression
While a higher salary offer can be a barometer how far you have come in your career, you should not just fixate on it. Even if you were to receive a modest starting salary with the company, the opportunity for progression to take on more responsibility – and consequently earn more – is a crucial aspect to look at when evaluating a job offer.
Money aside, you probably want some form of career progression to keep things fresh in your career, allowing you to pick up new skills and gain different experiences.
You can ask the people who you'll be reporting to on advancement opportunities, and you should candidly share your own career goals and aspirations to see if the job is the right fit for you.
#2 Company culture
It is difficult to give your all, and even go beyond the call of duty if you're only going into for pay cheque at the end of the month. You'll want to work in a place whose mission and values are aligned with yours, and so that you can inspired by a positive company culture.
Furthermore, the challenges of today are complex and require multi-disciplinary approaches to solve. So, no matter how talented or determined you are, you can only succeed when the people around you are succeeding as well.
#3 Work-life balance
We all know that there is life beyond work, and other aspects of one's life, such as family, personal passions and social causes are important for a fulfilling, well-balanced and meaningful existence.
Thus, a good job is one that allows you to have the time to devote to things that matter to us.
Sometimes, this flexibility could be in the form of generous human resources policies, be it in the form of flexible working arrangements or employee benefits and allowance, and at other times, it comes from an understanding and supportive boss who provides you leeway. Speaking with the hiring manager and your eventual reporting manager would give you more information.
#4 Job security
The start of 2020 has been tumultuous and underscores the importance of job security. We can see firsthand how retrenchments, pay cuts or forced unpaid leave can wreak havoc on carefully laid financial plans.
One should consider the state of the company's business, the industry as a whole, and one's place in it.
As a principle, a company cannot be sustainable if it is not making money, or if the prospects are on a downward trajectory. Frankly ask senior people in the company for their thoughts on it and evaluate for yourself if you believe in them.
Singapore being a tiny island-nation with excellent connectivity, we seldom think of location as a critical make-or-break factor when selecting a job.
But, just as a strategic piece of real estate can lead to excellent synergies and rapid appreciation in value, the location of one's job affects the length of our commute and morale, as well as our ability to access things like gyms, courses, enrichment programmes, or meeting people.
For parents with younger children, having a workplace that is easily accessible could be the difference between being able to send your kids to the childcare and picking them up after work, and needing to spend hundreds of dollars on a helper or a car.
Protecting your most valuable asset: your ability to earn an income
With this guide, you can make a better decision to take up a job that gives you the right mix of money, learning opportunities, and flexibility.
However, while you work hard in your job, it is crucial you protect your income-earning ability as well. After all, suddenly finding yourself unable to work due to a disability can have a devastating effect on your financial security and retirement plans.
Thus, a policy like the AIA Premier Disability Cover provides you with a recurring monthly income if you were to be unable to work, ensuring you can continue to take care of bills and other expenses while you recover. And if you were to return to work but at a reduced capacity after your recovery, the policy will also provide income top-ups to match the shortfall.
Your health is another crucial piece in the puzzle. Just like you take decades of hard work and discipline to climb the corporate ladder or get to the job you want to be in, maintaining your health requires the same amount of attention. AIA Vitality, our personalised wellness programme, empowers you to make the best decisions for your health through a combination of education, access and incentives.