1. Can I live with the pay package on offer?
This question primarily applies when you’re deciding to take a pay cut or a salary that is skewed towards achieving sales targets.
In today’s working environment, it is common to hear friends and colleagues aspiring to have greater work-life balance or being enticed to join a new start-up to experience the dynamic start-up culture. Doing so might mean you likely have to accept a lower salary.
While you may want a certain lifestyle or have the passion to join an exciting new start-up, you have to consider if you can afford it. You may have already subscribed to a certain lifestyle such as owning a car, an expensive home or taking frequent holidays. You may even have financial commitment that comes with having a bigger family to care for. From a practical standpoint, you may not be able to sustain your current lifestyle with a lower salary.
This makes it very important that you not only think about this question but also discuss it with your spouse to ensure both of you understand the implications such a decision will have on your finances and lifestyles.
2. Are the working hours suitable for me?
At the other end of the spectrum, you also need to ask yourself if you can live with a better pay package, this is because it typically comes with longer or irregular working hours, some weekends, potential overseas work trips and a lot more stress to go along with it.
If you think you can adapt to the new role just because of the higher salary, you will likely find yourself burnt out very quickly. You need to have the passion and drive to do well in the job over the long term.
Your current lifestyle plays an equally important role as your passion and drive. If your mind is willing but you have other commitments such as being there for your children, taking care of your parents or pursuing hobbies and sports, then you might find it a struggle to put in the required hours in the office to perform well.
3. Does the job offer me a long-term career prospect that I’m interested in?
There is a thin line between embarking on a better career and receiving a better pay. While the two usually go hand-in-hand, there may be occasions where you find yourself being adequately paid, only to see a rival company agreeing to pay you more to entice you to switch jobs.
If you firmly believe that you can learn much more in the company that you’re currently working at, there’s no reason to quit in order to enjoy short-term gain. One way of looking at this is to tell yourself that if the rival company is intending to hire today with your current level of skills and experience, then they should be willing to pay you even more in the future if you continue to learn.
Similarly, another thing you need to be wary about is switching to a complementary field or, in some cases, embarking on an entirely different career. Just because you would be paid more in the short term does not guarantee you success in the long-term. You could also end up being bored and uninterested after a while – which would actually take you backwards in your career.
Your career is a long-term game – and you need a long-term strategy to get the most out of it.
4. What are the relevant skills and expertise I need to do well in the job?
When you’re considering an offer from a prospective employer, you should already understand the role you’re supposed to function in as well as the relevant skills and expertise you need in order to do the job well.
If you are not confident of being able to perform well, you should either reject the opportunity or take the necessary actions to pick them up. Taking the effort to pick up relevant skills and expertise will give you an edge in the long run, allowing you to perform better in your job, regardless of whether or not you end up joining a new company.
Having a meaningful career
Answering positively to these four questions does not guarantee a meaningful career. There are still many other considerations that you should think about, and you shouldn’t be afraid to recognise what your interests are, and the skills and experience that you need in order to land yourself a suitable job and perform well in it.
AIA is committed to providing an environment to learn and grow in a range of meaningful career opportunities to match your experiences and career ambitions. At the same time, we believe you have to know #WhatsYourWhy to live a better and more fulfilling life. Ultimately, your “why” gives you the reasons you’re working to do your best at work as well as every other aspect of your life.
To explore an exciting and diverse career with AIA, contact us here.