Is it the money, the friends, the social behaviour, or is it because you have to?

This had me thinking, since Christmas I have had a house full of guests and have loved every moment of it. To me, spending time with my family and friends at Christmas is very important, I enjoy what I do, but most importantly my job gives me a life style that I like. It may not pay the highest or the lowest, it may not be the best location for me but I am happy with what I earn and my working arrangement. I have flexibility and lifelong friendships. I enjoy the social side of my job and like the variety – there is never a dull moment in my world J

How times have changed from when I was in my twenties . Back then it was all about how much I could earn and how quickly. I changed jobs on a whim as I was in hunt of the

highest dollar so I could go travelling. In my what's importantthirties it was all about my career and where it could lead, and now some 15 years on it is more about lifestyle and flexibility – So what is actually important to you?

Last Year, Optimum Consulting launched a brand new service offering “Employee Life”. This is such a great tool as it looks at what is important to your staff. In fact, before the launch there were great discussions around our table and the one point that stuck in my mind was that you need to build “brick walls”, not only around your clients but also around your good staff. In our teams we range from 20 up to 50 years of age, so as you can imagine the “what‘s important to you” question varies tremendously. Some want to travel and others are ready to have a family; some are workaholics and others just want to come in, get the job done and go home. All are very good at what they do so they need to be dealt with individually as well as a team. This is where Employee Life can step in to help you understand your team and make them far more profitable in 2014.

Statistics say that most jobs take at least 40 hours of your life during the week, but that can vary depending on numerous factors. So bearing this is mind, here are a few important aspects you should consider when looking to secure that right role and ensuring the “What is important to you” question.

Values – These are a set of standards that determine attitudes, choices, and action. Charting your value priorities can help you lay important groundwork for making comprehensive career decisions that fit your pattern of values, interests and talents. Work-related values underlie our choices about work. Some people value creativity and originality while others place a premium on income or contribution. These days workplaces are becoming more collaborative, and people are increasingly looking not just for jobs, but also for organisations whose values and culture align with their own.

Pay – although this in not my number one, it is true to say that money makes the world go around.

Location – Commuting can add many hours and lots of stress to the workday. Again, statistics show that people who work in big cities around the world wave off the daily commute as an unfortunate part of life. They say that those that live closer to their workplace are far better off as it gives them the opportunity to pursue other activities, socialise and interact outside of work which is healthy.

Satisfaction – Tricky but try to be honest with yourself about your likes, dislikes and abilities “What’s important to you”? Does your job fulfill this need?

Management Culture – (a little similar to values) Do they have the same values as you or more precisely are they flexible to your values? By this I mean as a 20 year old I wanted to work hard and play hard so sometimes the candle was burning at both ends now later on in life I want to be home with my family and pursue my hobbies – so can they cater to these different needs?

Advancement – Another statistic is a shortage of career opportunities within a company which is a

reason people leave their jobs. If this is important to you make sure that the organisation offers further training and/or education. Remember though, career ladders can be horizontal as well as vertical; by this I mean you may have started off as the receptionist, but now you would like to try your hand at marketing.

In Australia some of the main reasons for people changing their job is due to social, economic and the desire to gain further career experience. There is also the response to life cycle events such as having children or gaining educational qualifications. Money surprisingly enough is way down the list.

So remember that it is the start of a new year ***2014*** so take the time to evaluate the most important aspects of your job to ensure you are in the right role. Remember to be true to yourself and if you are not happy, start looking further afield.

Remember to ask the question “Why do you go to work”? The bottom line is that you go to work to fulfill your needs.

Alicia Sumich – Group Manager – Business Development

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