One of the first questions I like to ask any candidate is, “why are you looking for a new job?”  Sounds simple, yet so many candidates don’t think through this question thoroughly before speaking to a recruiter.

What I really want to know is what motivates you in a job or what gives you job satisfaction? When evaluating a potential career opportunity what are the three most important factors that need to be in place for you to seriously consider making a career move?

As a recruiter, this information is invaluable to me when selecting the right job opportunity for you.  If your top motivator is a work/life balance, it lets me know you would not be happy in a work environment that typically requires 60+ hours a week.

Here are a few career motivators to consider:

  • Money – Is money truly the most important factor?
  • Work/life balance – How important are your evenings, weekends and vacations?
  • Travel – Are you a road warrior and comfortable only being home occasionally on weekends?
  • Team environment – Are you really a team player?
  • Challenging environment – How important is it for you to face new challenges routinely?


Is the grass always greener?
Once you have identified your primary job motivators, do your homework. If you are considering a new job opportunity, I recommend writing down a list of pros and cons in your current job. Doing so often brings your true career motivators to the surface.  You might not realize just how much that overtime is weighing on you or how that your team environment is too autonomous.  If the cons outweigh the pros, then it might just be time to begin searching for a new opportunity.

To thy own self be true.  Beware the counter offer. 
The counter offer occurs after a candidate resigns from his or her current position to take another job.  Most often the counter offer is for more money or a promotion.

Ask yourself now; if your main motivator isn’t money and you get a counter offer for more money only, should you stay?  If you decide to stay for the money but your primary motivation for leaving wasn’t money, than you’ll most certainly be back to square one soon.  The same can be said for a promotion.  Will a title change impact your job motivators?

Take time to consider.  Stop and smell the roses!  And while you’re doing that, put pen to paper to identify your job motivators. Better safe than sorry as they always say….

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