What’s a job worth?

In this economy, sometimes getting a job—any  job—can seem like a challenge in itself. Even so, job seekers may have certain things in mind when they envision the right job, and it is not always about the paycheck. Job seekers are discovering that attributes of a worthwhile job are more diverse than ever, and some things, like extra time or a fun environment, truly are priceless.

As workers continue to strive for new definitions of success in a shifting economy, certain qualities of a job can make it much more valuable than the number on each paycheck, and job seekers are taking notice.

Flexibility

Work-life balance continues to be a hot topic for both employees and the companies they work for. Flexibility can mean different things to different workers—anything from a formal part-time arrangement to occasionally sliding out of the office early to catch your child’s baseball game can be considered flexible. Trends such as job sharing, where two part-time employees fill one full time role, or telecommuting, where employees complete work outside the physical office setting, are becoming popular in many industries.

Commute

Time is money. More and more, workers are discovering that the (mostly) unpaid time they spend travelling to and from their duties is expensive, and they are the ones footing the bill. Commuting, especially by car, also takes a toll on a worker’s health, the environment and the congested roadways surrounding major metropolitan areas. Some workers seek out jobs they can travel to and from using mass transit so they can use the precious commute hours for other tasks like reading the news, checking emails, or even catching some extra zzzs.

Opportunity

In an age of entrepreneurship and start-ups, it is tempting for some job seekers to take a lower-paying gig in exchange for the opportunity to become part of the “next big thing.” This is especially true in the technology space, with some new innovations becoming hugely popular just a few years after starting out in someone’s basement. While there is no guarantee that opportunities will turn out for the best, these roles also offer a great chance for first-timers to gain new experiences and build their resumes.

Positive Environment

Everyone likes a pat on the back. Optimism and positivity are contagious and can significantly contribute to a worker’s sense of fulfillment in the workplace. Environment and culture are so crucial that some employees would trade substantial earnings for more positivity and less stress in their work day. Some employers go to great lengths to create a positive environment, providing counselors to help troubled workers or allowing employees to bring their pets to the office to encourage stress relief and a sense of well-being.Image

Fun Perks

Does the office have free pancake breakfasts on Thursdays? Free fitness classes and health services? A ping pong table in the break room? Perks like these tend to contribute to any employee’s overall sense of well being by creating a greater connection between work and fun. Employers often find that offering these types of perks typically regarded as “distractions” from serious business actually result in workers being more productive and engaged and can also contribute to greater employee loyalty in the long term.

Just like the qualities of the employees themselves, definitions of what makes a job worthwhile are continuing to change with the job market landscape. What makes a job opportunity worthwhile to you? Let us know in the comments below.

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