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Is it a good idea to accept a job just because it pays more?

By Thea Watson, Marketing Director of Hays UK & I and UK Board member

If you are in a situation where you have been offered a new job with a significant pay rise, your instincts will likely tell you to follow the money. And why wouldn’t you – if you will get paid more doing pretty much the same thing. But is it really that simple? As with most things, the answer is no. There are a lot of things you should consider once you’ve been offered a job, aside of pay.

Is this where you see your career going?

Try and forget about the money for a moment. Would you consider this move if it wasn’t for the increased pay? Take a step back and review the opportunities to progress your skills and your career. Because whilst this new move may offer more money right now, this is counter-intuitive if you are still going to be doing the same job, earning the same salary, with the exact same set of skills, a few years down the line.

That last point is important. The most in-demand skills are constantly changing with technology, and if you want to keep progressing your career, you need to be able to keep your skills fresh. Upskilling is essential and working somewhere where lifelong learning is embedded in the culture and encouraged by senior management, will certainly help.

Think back to what you were able to find out, both when researching the organisation, and during your interview. Did you get the impression that you would have the opportunity to learn new skills, and that your boss would support you with this? What about when you researched the existing employees’ stories on LinkedIn and their company website – had they grown as professionals and taken their careers from strength to strength at this organisation?

Weigh up which job is most likely to enhance your professional development. From there, you can decide which option is the better long-term investment for your career.

Does the company’s values and purpose match your own?

A pay rise may be enough to lure you initially, but in order to feel engaged in the long-term, you need to feel passionate about your employer’s vision and purpose, and how your role plays into that.

Ask yourself honestly, do you really feel interested in what this new organisation does, or are you just tempted by the money? On the other hand, perhaps this new organisation really gets your blood pumping. You felt excited when you started researching them and since then, your interest has grown more and more. This, plus a nice pay packet, equals a pretty good reason for taking the job.

Will you be happy?

And lastly, but most importantly – will you be happy? Of course you can’t predict the future, and you won’t really know if you will be happy for sure without actually giving the job a go. But certain red flags or, on the contrary, green lights can give you a pretty good inkling.

Maybe you were uncertain about your potential new boss during the interview, or perhaps you could sense a tense and miserable atmosphere when you walked into the office. Were you secretly hoping you wouldn’t get the job, but now you’ve been offered it, you feel you have to take it because the money seems too good to turn down?

On the other hand, maybe you had a good feeling about this place before you even went to the interview. You researched the company thoroughly before and got the impression that the culture was welcoming and open, and this definitely seemed to be the case when you met with your potential colleagues and boss on the day of the interview. Overall, you enjoyed the interview and could really picture yourself working at this place and feeling happy.

Just remember, you are going to be spending the majority of your time for the foreseeable future at this place, and if you are unhappy, this will have a huge impact on your career performance, but also your wellbeing in general.

Whatever you decide, don’t just be tempted by the relatively short-term lure of more money. Take a step back and think about whether this role can offer you the progression opportunities, sense of purpose, and overall workplace wellbeing that you want and deserve. It won’t take long for the material perks of your new job to wear off. And when they do, you need to be sure that moving to where the money was, was the best thing for your career.

If you are looking for support with your employment needs please contact your local office.

About this author

Thea is responsible for the UK & I marketing team as well as driving the strategic direction of the marketing function, looking closely at opportunities for growth, positioning in the marketplace and sales support. She was appointed to the Hays UK & I Board in July 2017, following joining the UK business in the summer of 2016.

Prior to her current role she was the Vice President of Marketing for the Hays Americas business, joining the business in 2012. Under her management she built the marketing function from general support to a strategic driver of sales, establishing a central marketing unit supporting Canada, US and four Latin American countries.

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