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9 Very Important Factors Besides Salary to Consider When Taking a Job

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9 Very Important Factors Besides Salary to Consider When Taking a Job

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This evening sitting in a sushi bar in Northern England I couldn't help but be thankful. I was grinning ear to ear, and while I'm sure it was creepy to the waitress, I was happy. Dinner tonight was the first opportunity I had since arriving to reflect on the first 4 months of my big girl job and and think about what great things are to come in 2016. Being able to sit here, eat delicious salmon, and blog after work is a perk for a traveling consultant, and to me, an important privilege. When we consider going to work for company we immediately think of salary as the end-all-be-all. In making the decision to take a new job, we have to consider a combination of factors:

  1.  Insurance - This is probably the most important factor to consider when taking a job, no matter where your priorities lie. Here in the US, employers must offer insurance options, but making sure they're competitive in price and benefits is huge!
  2. Office amenities - If you're like most people, you're going to be spending 40 or more hours a week in this place. Is the coffee free? Will you be sitting in an office or a cube? Is there a gym, child care, or other free services that will save you time and money? Make sure to ask, and take a tour if possible.
  3. Discounts - Companies of all sizes have great discount programs they've created to incentivize employees. Saving money on gym memberships, travel, attractions, and merchandise really adds up. Make sure your company is helping you save those hard earned coins...
  4. Commute and Location - If you're living in a large metropolitan are you're likely not going to want to sit in 2.5 hours a day of traffic. It's a waste of gas and time. Make sure that commute is somewhat manageable from where you live, and if you don't want to commute, consider one of these companies (my company made #2 on this list!).
  5. Travel - For some, travel is a blessing, others a curse. If a job has travel time at 20%, consider that a little under a week per month. If you're looking forward to traveling (like me, yay) then make sure the company knows you're open to it and sign up for those frequent flyer miles and hotel points ASAP.
  6. Vacation and Leave - In a dream world, we get unlimited vacation, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave. Depending upon the company, you can reap those benefits! Make sure your future workplace offers a fair share of vacation and other paid time off to its employees.
  7. Growth Opportunity - Today's most successful companies are led by Baby Boomers who are looking to retire in the near future. This large shift toward retirement means more room at the top for everyone else! Closely examine the opportunities for promotion (and education) at your future employer. Do they place value on continuing education and career development?
  8. Bonus Compensation - Depending on your position, a large portion of your income can come from annual or one-time bonuses. Consider a sign-on bonus or the opportunity for a sales/growth bonus as part of your income as well. You never know how big it could be! See here.
  9. Balance and Culture - Sometimes a high-paying job simply isn't worth it if it comes with too much stress and not enough time spent with the ones you love. Check anonymous online reviews about the work culture and see what kind of balance they offer for employees so there aren't any surprises on the first day.

Ultimately, and always, what's good for you isn't necessarily good for someone else. For you, living comfortably may be your biggest priority. For someone else, it may be getting to spend more time with their family and friends. No matter what you choose, take a more holistic approach to choosing a job and watch it blossom beautifully into a career. As always, best of luck!

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Confidence

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Confidence

It's become quite evident that my blog has been and always will be a giant compilation of nuggets of wisdom my mother has shared with me but I wouldn't listen to until now. She always instilled a sense of confidence in me, and I didn't appreciate it until I had a moment to myself today. My mom never set boundaries or limits for my goals and accomplishments and she never told me anything was impossible. She facilitated and accommodated and allowed me to pursue what I wished until I scraped my knee and admitted failure or succeeded. Side note: my father did all of the same things alongside my mother I just found it fitting to mention her because I'm about to talk about a women's conference (sorry, pops).

Confidence is key.

This past weekend I attended the Advancing the Careers of Technical Women - Seattle conference as a first-weekend-in-Seattle activity. I was blown away by the wealth of information, and from the perspective of an organizer, by the structure and smoothness of the day. The sessions served to sharpen our technical skills and help us advance our careers.

 

ACT-W is an annual conference that supports, empowers, and educates women in technology while creating a sense of belonging and community. 

I learned how to:

  • get out of my own way
  • find mentors
  • continue my own professional development
  • let go of my guilt
  • fake it until I make it
  • stop qualifying my ideas
  • have clear set goals
  • take risks
  • negotiate my salary
  • stand tall
  • pick a supportive partner
  • be persistent
  • admit to not knowing everything
  • tackle things I can't grasp
  • redefine
  • rebrand
  • relaunch
  • learn what works for me
  • lift up other women
  • embrace my own femininity
  • be myself
  • ask for help
  • shine my light on others
  • run data science experiments
  • unclog the STEM pipeline
  • change stereotypes
  • internalize my accomplishments
  • externalize my impostor
  • practice my power pose
  • take credit for my contributions

I can't do any of the above without confidence. And you can't do anything without it, either. But the amazing thing is with just a little bit of trust in yourself and your worth you can do everything on this list and more. Confidence is admitting that you don't know everything and you never will. It means not being ashamed to ask for help and understanding that you can't do it alone.

Last year, The Atlantic published an amazing piece, The Confidence Gap, that addressed our (women's) lack of self-assurance, where it comes from, and how it impacts our careers. It breaks my heart to hear about young women not going for positions because they don't feel fully qualified, or young women who miss out on opportunities because they don't feel like they're deserving. Confidence is the difference between filling out an application and submitting one. It's the difference between watching life happen or making it happen. It's the difference between $50k and $70k. I urge you to instill confidence in the young women around you and build yourselves up, because confidence can take you very, very, far.

Don't fill your head with worries, there won't be room for anything else.

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