Money isn’t everything. While it’s great to be able to pay all the bills and still treat yourself once in a while, a career is more than a paycheck. You have to be able to love what you do and enjoy your life while you work. If the salary won’t make you rich, there might still be some things in that job offer that mean more than money. Look at everything the employer has to give before you decline a job offer.

Work-Life Balance

If you’re a student, a parent, or a passionate hobbyist, work-life balance is going to be important to you. If your new job offers plenty of time off, great hours, or flexible scheduling, you’ll be able to live more. Some fields provide better work-life balance than others. According to CNBC and Glassdoor, corporate recruiters and UX designers report some of the best work-life balance. If your job offer isn’t in one of those fields, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get what you want. If it’s important to you and the salary isn’t what you desired, you can always negotiate for it.

Useful Discounts and Partnerships

If your job winds up saving you money on things you frequently purchase, a slightly smaller salary won’t be a big deal. Plenty of retail jobs boast excellent discounts – Sephora gives its employees 20% off on luxury cosmetics and fragrances, Barnes & Noble offers discounts between 20% and 50% depending on the department, and Trader Joe’s gives their employees 10% off all their groceries and free food while they’re at work.

Some employers might also offer discounts to sister brands or partner companies, extending your savings. Depending on your hobbies and where you like to shop, you might wind up saving a fortune. These kinds of discounts come in useful around the holidays – if you spend $300 on gifts for your friends and family, a mere 20% discount can save you $60 to treat yourself with.

A Wellness Program

Google has the wellness program to end all wellness programs – they even keep doctors and massage therapists on staff. Even if you’re not working for Google, you can still expect some health help from a great employer. If you’re trying to devote more attention to your health, an employee wellness program will significantly benefit you. Employers that keep you fed with healthy foods and snacks, pay for your gym membership (or have an employee gym on the campus), or run a company sports league might help you achieve your goals. You won’t be torn between your fitness journey and your career success.

The Ability to Work Remotely

Think about those days where you aren’t necessarily sick, but you still don’t feel like getting all dressed up to deal with people. You don’t want to call out of work because you might need those days for an actual emergency. That’s where the ability to work remotely kicks in. If you just need some leisurely time or you want to be able to work while you’re attending an out-of-town wedding, consider an employer that will give you the freedom to do so.

Many employers in fields that heavily rely on computers, medical billing and coding, insurance agencies, web design, graphic design, app development, and customer service all have remote work opportunities.

Great Company Culture

If the salary is great but your coworkers are as pleasant to deal with as pulling teeth, you’re going to hate your job. Nothing can trump company culture. The environment you work in, the way teams collaborate, and the strength of communication from the top down will affect the way everyone works. In order to create a harmonious company cultures, employees need to have values and a mission statement that every employee believes in. This facilitates the unity and the team spirit necessary for everyone to have a great working experience.

One of the best examples of company culture is Zappos. The shoe company pays people to quit after training if they don’t think they’ll thrive in their work environment, and cultural fit accounts for 50% of the hiring decision. They only want people who will work well together towards a goal they all believe in. This is the greatest motivator possible, and it amounts to a fulfilling career.

Room For Advancement

A starting salary may be low until you’ve proven yourself. If you have your eyes set on a position more important than the one you were initially offered, it may be worthwhile to take what you’re offered and work your way up. Before you accept a job offer, talk to the person who gave it to you. Ask if there’s any room from growth within the company and what the trajectory will look like. If you aren’t starting in a dead end position, your salary will inevitably increase with your prestige. The ability to become a key player in an organization always outranks the starting offer.

Educational Opportunities

Some companies offer tuition reimbursement, making them perfect choices for students who need to further their education in order to land their dream positions. If you’re working to put yourself through school as a means of achieving a better career opportunity, there are plenty of companies who would love to help you do that – and many of them will be waiting to offer you that better opportunity after you’ve graduated.


Before you turn your nose up at a job offer, consider how much you stand to gain that doesn’t come affixed to a dollar sign. If the career is a great place for you to learn, grow, and focus on your goals, money cannot purchase that opportunity.

Rachel Jackson is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business at She is a Senior Content Manager at – an online resource of relevant business information.

It’s one of the most common questions I am asked at this time of the year:

“Is it time for me to move on and change directions?”

Well….. it may be.

Or.…. it may not be.

The silly season takes over

For a whole month before Christmas, you’ve been building excitement – presents, annual leave, brandy, food – and everyone around you has been encouraging this avalanche of good will. This build-up has fostered feelings of joy, anticipation of good things to come, and a sense of momentum that things are moving towards an exciting climax. It is no wonder that you, like the rest of us (with the exception of only a few grinches), have been caught up in the surreal bauble of the silly season.

The celebration climax

Humans are pack animals that love a good distraction, and we thrive on group excitement. We regularly engage in activities that create a sense of group positivity and regrowth (think community rallies, charity events, birthday parties). The biggest of these distractions could well be argued as New Year’s Eve, a celebration when most of us compare ourselves to others and resolve to be nicer, healthier, happier and set ourselves yearly goals.

Return to normality

So now, you’ve returned from time away from work. Maybe you were lucky enough to have taken annual leave for a few weeks, or you may have just taken the public holidays*. You’re thinking back to the heady days of the past fortnight, your resolve to make positive changes in your life, and of the limitless possibilities that you could harness if you weren’t at your current job.

This is when you ponder: IS IT TIME FOR ME TO FIND A NEW PATH?

Here are my essential questions for the potential post-holiday career changer:

1. How long have you been contemplating a career change?

Has your need for change been on the rise for some time or have you had an epiphany during the holiday break that you need to ‘get out’?

Snap decisions are called that for a very good reason: they are decisions made with the snap of the fingers, on the spot, and often without serious consideration. Don’t get me wrong, snap decisions and impulsive actions certainly have their place (clothes shopping, change to hair colour, where to eat lunch) but I would typically recommend against a major career change based SOLELY on a snap decision. Sit on your snap decision for a week or two – take that time do some research and ask yourself the other big questions. If at the end of that time you still want to make the change, then it will be an educated choice rather than a snap decision.

“You’re thinking back to the heady days of the past fortnight, your resolve to make positive changes in your life, and of the limitless possibilities that you could harness if you weren’t at your current job. This is when you ponder: IS IT TIME FOR ME TO FIND A NEW PATH?”

2. Why do you want to change careers?

There are an infinite number of reasons that we seek a career change. Some may be practical and easy to identify, like the desire for higher pay, more flexible work hours, moving to a career that is more / less physically demanding etc. Other factors may be more difficult to encapsulate and are often associated with ‘feelings’ or described in terms such as a desire to reach your potential, needing to be challenged, or ‘finding your calling’.

There is no right or wrong reason to change your career direction; however, it pays to be mindful of what your reasons are. One of the dangers for those who regularly change career paths is that they are perhaps doing so without recognising what their motivators are, and are destined to continue this pattern of behaviour without following the pathway that truly suits them.

3. Is it a career change that you’re craving, or will a slighter change do the trick?

Similar to the recommendation to avoid making a snap decision, I would always suggest considering whether you are actually seeking a changed pathway at all.

It may sound simple, but oftentimes people are seeking a change to their regular work pattern without necessarily needing a career change as such. Examples of ‘change without a career change’ include sideways transfer or promotion within your current employer, change of employer, or secondment. Another option (more readily available in larger employers) may be taking a period of leave in which you are able to trial a new job, often called ‘career break’ leave.

Now … Follow your gut (in a sensible manner)

Deciding to make a career change (or undertake a ‘change without a career change’) can be exciting, rewarding, daunting and overwhelming all at once. Your responses to the key questions above will help to guide your new pathway, and identify whether you are really ready for a big change or simply feeling a bit lacklustre post-festive season.

If you have decided that a change is for you, obviously there are a number of practical areas to research to determine training needed, labour market needs, rates of pay etc. Not to mention the BIG one….what career do I actually want to enter?

Looking for some guidance? Consulting a professional career development practitioner is a sure-fire way of setting yourself up for success, and they will be able to provide advice across all areas. To find someone in your area, head to Career Development Association of Australia.

*unless of course you are an emergency or health worker, or similar and were not lucky enough to have any time off, in which case I thank you for your service.

Have you had a career change? We would love to hear about your experience in the comments below or contact us to share your story.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay

Lauren Maxwell is a Rehabilitation Counsellor and Career Development Consultant, with close to 15 years of experience across the two fields. She is the founder of Headstrong Women, a specialist women’s career development service, and thrives on innovation and creativity to empower women to reach their potential.