When it comes to choosing the perfect job for you, what are you looking for? The times have changed. Nowadays, employers realize that, to most workers, it’s not just about the money anymore. While your prospective salary and benefits are important, employers understand that job seekers are also going to consider how a job affects their quality of life.

According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American employee works 34.4 hours per week. More specifically, Americans aged between 16 and 19 worked 24.1 hours a week, while those aged 20–24 and 25–54 worked 34.8 and 40.5 hours, respectively. Those over 55, however, worked 38 hours per week.

You spend a lot of your time at your job, so look for the one that’s right for you.

Whether you are entering the workforce, looking elsewhere for a new position, or looking to move upward in your current company, make sure that you put in some research to find a position that will be perfect for you and your lifestyle.

Here are a few suggestions to consider when searching and applying for your perfect position:

  1. Flexibility. Jobs have evolved from where they were two or more years ago. Many positions offer the freedom to work remotely and aren’t confined to the rigid desk or cubicle environment.  When looking to make your next move, ask your employer about the flexibility and the work environment.  You will be more productive if you are comfortable during your workday.
  2. Company Culture. This can be tricky… Until you’re offered the position and start working, you cannot truly know what a company’s day-to-day culture is like. However, you can learn about its culture more generally. Research the company, its leadership team and, most importantly, its mission and mission statement. Often this information is publicly available on the company’s website. If you don’t fully support its mission and values, don’t waste your time and the employers time – it’s not the place for you. You will have more passion and perform better once you are onboard if you know and support who and what you are working for.
  1. Opportunity. Look for a company that invests in their people and provides training opportunities to help strengthen and develop skills which could help you grow professionally and personally. When you interview, ask what opportunities are available. Pay attention to how long employees stay there and how often employees are promoted from within.
  1. Work-Life Balance. Work-life balance is not only important for your mental and physical health, it can also make you more productive on the job. In today’s constant, ever-changing business world, it is stressful to maintain a healthy balance while juggling the demands of the job. It is now more important than ever to find a company that not only respects a positive work-life balance, but encourages one.
  1. Passion. Apply for a job that interests you and a company where you can see yourself wanting to come to work. It’s a disservice to your employer and the people you serve if you don’t truly want to be there. No one makes you apply for a certain position. You have that freedom, so apply for something that you are passionate about and find a company who will help inspire you to do your very best.
  1. Salary. Saved the most important one for last. Make sure that your salary will cover your cost of living and, hopefully, help you to thrive instead of just survive. If you have experience in the field, negotiate your pay and benefits. Remember: you work to live, not live to work.

When looking for your next career venture, consider these tips and spend a little time researching the position and the company. Hopefully you will come out with the position that is perfect for you and your lifestyle.

Sharine Sample is the Regional Workforce Development Manager at Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina.

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