Finding a new job is a balancing act: some people change jobs for shorter commutes or a better salary, others want health insurance or flexible hours, and still others look for a job in a new or different industry.
Hiring is booming in the US – added the economy 528,000 jobs in Julyup from 398,000 in June, according to current job report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. But in many cases wages do not increase as fast as the pricescausing workers to look elsewhere.
Compensation, work location and work environment are among the most important factors to consider when looking for a new job, according to Jill Gonzalez, a financial analyst at WalletHub.
Here are five important things to think about when looking for a job (or wondering if you should):
THE CURRENT LABOR MARKET
In July there were 1.7 jobs for every unemployed person, meaning employers are competing for workers in many sectors.
While not all employers can afford to offer wage increases at the cost of living, some are increasingly willing to offer other benefits, such as , Managing Director of Personnel management company.
“Inflation is forcing otherwise happy workers to look elsewhere. It’s a retention issue,” he said. “You might have an employee who loves their job, but they’re like, ‘I have to go across the street for the job that’s making me 20% more.'”
Some companies are also better prepared to weather an economic downturn than others, which is worth considering amid fears that the U.S could be headed for a recession.
“The companies that are recession-resistant are typically those that sell consumer products, provide critical repair services, or manufacture or sell proprietary or specialized products,” Gonzalez said.
Demand for these goods and services tends to remain more or less the same, regardless of consumers’ budgets. The food industry, grocery stores, power plants, waste disposal, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies are also weathering the economic instability well, she said.
How much you get paid matters, and how you view your income depends in part on your industry.
For Justin Taylor, a Minneapolis restaurant worker, it’s not just about how much he can make per hour, but how much tip he can get.
Taylor increased his salary from $15 an hour to about $20 an hour when he transferred from Chipotle to a local restaurant. His previous job, unlike his current job, did not involve meaningful tips from clients, which significantly increased his net compensation.
Discussions about payment are rarely transparent. If you’re not sure what the average salary might be in your industry, you can use the US Bureau of Labor Statistics contains a list of average wages and salaries in most industries.
If you can find a job that pays more per hour but requires a longer commute, that might not be a huge raise after you factor in gas or the cost of public transportation.
“I wanted to be close to home, I was just trying to save money on transportation,” Taylor said.
Prior to his new job, Taylor commuted 30 minutes each way on public transit; He now rides his electric scooter for less than 10 minutes.
With gas prices higher than a year ago, Taylor also decided to sell his truck and use cheaper alternatives. Survey data shows that 64 percent of US adults have changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March of this year. according to the American Automobile Association.
If you can use public transport to get to work or pay for parking, check with your prospective new employer to see if the company offers this Pre-Tax Benefits.
For some, good benefits may include health insurance or pension contributions. For others, working from home a few days a week or pursuing on-the-job training are major benefits.
“The work-life balance is just as important. (Workers) should inquire about vacation and sick-day policies, as well as flexibility when working from home,” Gonzalez said.
Such was the case with Taylor, who approached his job search with the aim of having more flexibility.
“I’m human, I have a life outside of work and I wanted more control. That was really important too. So I went in and let them know, ‘Hey, I’m going to need this day off,'” said Taylor, who is also a member of Restaurant Opportunities Centers Uniteda non-profit organization that advocates for workers’ rights.
Eugene Natali, a financial literacy expert and Managing Director of Troutwooda financial planning app, said expanding your skills is especially important when a recession looms.
Auto mechanics, for example, should complete any on-the-job training and obtain any certification offered, he said, to make themselves more valuable to their job and more attractive to potential employers should they need to change jobs.
Blair Heitmann, a careers expert on hiring platforms LinkedInencourages job seekers to think about company culture when changing roles.
Their recommendations include reaching out to current and former employees, researching the press and social media, and even reading earnings reports.
websites such as As a matter of fact and glass door have user-generated job reviews and some offer salary ranges for specific companies.
This research can also help you gain insight into what makes a company work, which can help you in a job interview, she said.
Stephanie Stathas, a licensed therapist with Thrivewhich offers in-person and online therapy, says identifying healthy workplaces can help reduce workplace stress.
“When a work environment isn’t well managed or doesn’t find the time to appreciate the individual for what they’re doing, a lot of people can tend to feel bad about it,” she said.
But it’s more nuanced than just employee appreciation, she added, as employees also need the ability to set boundaries with their workload.