Things to look for in a new job image

Change plays a big role as people ring in a new year. At the dawn of a new year, some people resolve to live healthier in the months ahead while others might make financial resolutions in an attempt to improve their bottom lines.

The decision to change jobs is another popular resolution at the dawn of a new year. Professionals change jobs for various reasons. But regardless of what's behind a career change, many people can benefit by looking for things in a new job that can make them happy — both professionally and personally.

Salary: Of course everyone would love to earn more money when changing jobs, but there is more to changing jobs than just improving your bottom line. As you begin your job search, consider how much you currently earn and if that allows you to live a life you love. If so, don't overemphasize finding a new job that pays considerably more than you currently earn. On the flip side, young professionals who want to start a family in the years ahead should consider the costs associated with such a decision and how the salaries they earn at their next job may affect what they want down the road.

Work/life balance: Before beginning your search for a new job, think about why you want to switch careers or companies. Long hours often leads to burnout. If you’re looking for a new job because you're burned out, try to find a job that affords you a better work/life balance. A study from the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen found that, with the curious exception of people who work more than 55 hours per week, stress rises accordingly with the numbers of hours worked each week. Keep that in mind if your goal is to find a job that affords you a better work/life balance.

Satisfaction: When attempting to achieve a better work/life balance, it can be easy to overlook satisfaction at work in exchange for more time at home. But studies have shown that feeling satisfied by what you do can have a profound impact on your overall happiness. It’s possible to find an engaging career that still affords you time away from work, and such a career can ultimately pave the way toward a happier life.

Commute: Bending over backwards simply to get to work and then get home from work can have an incredibly negative impact on your life. A study from the Office of National Statistics in the United Kingdom found that commuters, especially those who spend between 60 and 90 minutes commuting to work, have lower life satisfaction and lower levels of happiness compared to people who don’t commute. Before accepting a job offer, estimate your commute time to and from the new office and try to determine the impact of that commute on your quality of life.

Many people aspire to find a new job at the dawn of a new year. Jobseekers should consider a host of factors before switching jobs to make sure they make the best decisions.

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