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How To Find A Job That Keeps You Happy In The Long Term

Looking for a new job takes time and energy, so be sure you know what you want before you even start the process.

How To Find A Job That Keeps You Happy In The Long Term
[Photo: g-stockstudio/iStock]

If you’re thinking about jumping ship this year, you’re not alone. According to a new survey from Glassdoor, 35% of recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring managers anticipate that more employees will leave their companies within the next 12 months.

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While finding another job is often an important catalyst for positive change, let’s be honest: The process itself is not exactly anyone’s idea of a good time. Between resume and cover letter drafting, interviewing and negotiating salary, job seeking can be time-consuming, stressful and draining–so ideally, you want to go through that process as few times as possible.

The key to accomplishing that, of course, is finding a job that you’ll be happy with for years to come. But how exactly do you find that?


Related: How To Advance Your Career In A Crappy Entry-Level Job


The answer, hiring decision makers believe, is to inform yourself as much as possible during the job search. So the next time you find yourself seeking out a new position, make sure to take the following steps.

Find Jobs That Align With Your Salary Expectations

Nearly half of the those surveyed (45%) said that the primary motivating factor for employees’ departure was salary, and over one third (37%) believed that employees would be significantly more likely to stay on for longer if they were more informed about salary during the interview process. After all, if you accept a role that satisfies your pay requirements, you won’t have to seek a better-paying job elsewhere.

To provide job seekers with increased transparency, Glassdoor now includes salary estimates on about 52% of U.S. job listings, with that number expected to grow in the future. By looking at these estimates, you can quickly and easily screen out positions that don’t meet your salary needs, saving you valuable time and improving the odds of securing the salary you deserve. Not quite sure what you should be aiming for? Try Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth™ tool to get a free, personalized estimate of what you should be making.

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Make Sure You Have Room For Growth

Besides salary, career advancement opportunities were the second biggest reason that hiring professionals believed employees were leaving. It’s easy to fixate on the present when you’re looking for a new job, but if you want to stay at a company for years to come, that short-sighted thinking is not enough. Eventually, you’ll probably want to move up in your career, whether that means a more senior title, bigger paycheck or additional responsibilities. A few signs that the company you’re looking at will help support your future growth? Clear paths to promotion, training, career development programs and formal mentorship opportunities.


Related: Your Company Needs An In-House Career Coach, Not Another Training Program 


Evaluate The Benefits Package

Another major reason employees leave their current positions, survey participants said, was to seek better benefits. It makes sense–after all, salary isn’t everything. Besides your take-home pay, perks and benefits are also core components of your total compensation. A company with incredible benefits like premium-free health coverage, parental leave, and generous paid vacation time may end up saving you more money in the long run than one with higher starting salaries. Alternatively, you might just be willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for a particularly enticing perk. For example, plenty of folks have no problem making a little less if it means that they get to work from home.


Related: Could Paying Top Dollar For Staff Be Worse For The Labor Market? 


Get The Scoop On Locale

The last key reason survey participants said employees chose to look elsewhere for employment? Location. If you’re excited enough for an opportunity, a 45-minute commute one way may seem like no big deal–but after the honeymoon period ends, you might not feel the same way. When you receive a job offer, carefully consider where the position is located. Would you have a quick and easy commute? Is it close to public transportation? Would you have to move, leaving your friends and family behind? Some of these factors will undoubtedly matter to you more than others, but it’s still worth taking a good, hard look at the whole picture–you don’t want to commit to a job only to regret your choice six months later.

The bottom line: Well-informed job seekers make for happier employees. Before you even accept an offer–or perhaps before you even apply–figure out what matters the most to you and see how the company you’re considering stacks up. Not only will this help you narrow down the number of applications you send out–it will help ensure long-term career satisfaction.

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This article originally appeared on Glassdoor and is reprinted with permission.