Yes, the show is over, and what a show it was! Whether you watched Breaking Bad or not, there are lessons that can be learned from our fictional friend. Before accepting an offer, keep Walter White in mind. Start by evaluating the basics.
Is it basic, yet provides you with the tools necessary to succeed? Or, is it high-end with extravagant tools that are overboard for what is necessary? What about a virtual position that allows you to work from home – is that right for you and your family life? Sometimes, it’s not advantageous to work from home. I guess it depends what you do. Walt knew enough to not bring his work home, until eventually it followed him.
Just ask Walt… The people you work with every day can have a huge impact on your happiness and productivity while at work. Find out if your potential co-workers are knowledgeable and dependable. Hint: look up their experience on sites like LinkedIn.com. Having stable and knowledgeable co-workers can make a huge difference in your happiness and survival (literal and figurative).
Salary is often a top consideration. Like Walt, understand what it is you are looking for in a new job. How much do you need to pay the bills and have some left over? Is a little extra salary worth the “extras” that brings? Sometimes it is and other times it is not. Does more salary mean less time away from your family? Does it mean doing things that are out of your skill sets and comfort zone? Does it really put you in a better place (long term)? Check out sites like monster.salary.com to do a little salary research.
What are you looking to accomplish in your career? How fast do you want to advance? Are you looking for an opportunity that provides advancement? Are you at a point in your career where you want to be the “kingpin” of an organization? Look at the size of the organization. Can you advance to the level you desire or do you need to wait until someone retires or, in Walt’s world, is “terminated”?
Research the company’s work/life balance. If this is important to you, take this into consideration to better ensure that it’s a good fit. Walt went from a job with great work/life balance as a teacher into a career that demanded long hours, off hours and he needed to be on call for emergency situations. Walt made the decision that work/life balance wasn’t as important as the extra money his new opportunity provided. So, at that time, it was worth it for him. Consider whether it is worth it for you. You can check out a site like Glassdoor.com to read reviews from employees. Just remember that sometimes, those comments are from employees as disgruntled as Walt.
Are benefits important to you? Unless your spouse carries them, they probably are very important. Unless you can put yourself in a situation like Walt, and pay for your health care needs with cash, make sure you vet out available benefits and the cost. Most jobs don’t pay like Walt’s second career, so cash isn’t typically an option. When you look at salary and are comparing one company’s offer to another, be sure to take benefits into consideration. What is the cost of health insurance? What does it cover? What are the deductibles? Is there a 401k match? What are the paid holidays? What is the Paid Time Off (PTO) policy? What is the dress code? Most company websites contain some kind of a benefits section that will give you an idea of what is offered.
Every career decision you make has its pros and cons. To minimize the risks and maximize the rewards, make sure to evaluate all of the above. Walter had his reasons for choosing the career path he followed and so do you.
Guest blogger and Breaking Bad fan Corey Listar is a Staffing Manager for the Oldcastle Recruiting team in Rochester, NY. He has a Masters degree in Career & Human Resource Development and over 15 years of experience in staffing, recruiting and human resources.
Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.
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