More than a Paycheck


Finding a job is something that at one point or another, we will all have to do. Whether you live to work or work to live, the workplace will inevitably become a big part of each of our lives. Studies have estimated that the average individual will spend 1/3rd of their life at work, so where you spend those 90,000 hours matters. If you are looking for part-time work, a summer internship, or are like me and starting the search for a post-grad job, there is much more to that decision than a paycheck! To help guide your next job search, here are three non-financial factors to consider when looking for employment.

1. Culture. Prior to evaluating companies and jobs, determine what you are looking for in company culture. For some, that might be a fun and playful atmosphere, whereas others might want a more structured and professional setting. Regardless of the environment and culture you would like to work in, explore whether or not a prospective company has a culture that will fit your personality. Sites such as Glassdoor can help provide insight, and if you advance in the hiring process, you can also ask questions during your interview to make sure you will feel comfortable and fit in with the company culture.

2. Opportunities to learn. While all the knowledge and skills that you pick up during college are valuable, change is a constant. Over the course of your career, you will certainly have to learn new things to stay on top of current trends. What kind of learning and development opportunities do you expect from a potential employer? Do you want to attend company trainings or have the opportunity to attend professional conferences? What about continuing your education or receiving tuition assistance? Evaluating if and how a company will provide you with learning opportunities is valuable, especially if you know that down the road you might want to pursue an MBA or other professional degree.

3. Balance. We all probably have a couple things that would make a good job an awesome job, and that is where balancing your work with the other 2/3rds of your life comes in. Maybe you want flexible work hours, and the ability to shape your own work schedule. Or, if you hate commuting, you might be looking for a flexible location or the opportunity to work remotely. I always joke that my dream job would let me bring my dog to work with me. Whatever your priority is, make sure that a prospective job provides the balance you are looking for, or at least the opportunity to achieve that down the road.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, as there are certainly other factors out there that play into career decisions! However, it is a good starting point for determining what qualities you need, want, or can’t live without in a prospective role. Consider taking some time to think about what your “dream job” looks like and build a framework to guide you through the search process. Hopefully, in the end you will find a role and career path that gets you excited to go to work each morning. Happy job hunting!

In sisterhood,

Julia Maddock


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Kansas State University Sigma Alpha

Edited by, Toccoa Cochrane 

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