Surprisingly, the salary is not the most important thing; for me, at least. I do not know about you, but I would rather earn less but have other perks. And no, I am not talking about ping-pong tables, free coffee, and other useless perks.
Even though it does not hurt to have them, they are on a low priority for me. I have other priorities, which are far more important than solely the salary. However, that does not mean ignoring the salary entirely. It means not the choose a job only based on the money they give you.
What do I mean?
I am talking about these:
- Learning opportunities
- Possibility of working remotely
- Clear progression path
- Good mentors
- Exciting work
Have you ever heard about them? If not, you should consider them from now on. Not everything is about money, and if you think otherwise, you will have a real surprise.
When it comes to a job, I am interested in the learning opportunities available. Am I able to learn new things on the job? Am I allowed to spend time perfecting my skills or learning new skills? Is the company using relevant and exciting tools? I want to learn as much as possible. I also want to discover new, hot, evergreen skills. If you cannot provide this, I am starting to lose my interest.
Am I allowed to work remotely? Working remotely is one of the essential points for me. I want to be able to work from home and to work from other countries too. I want freedom. I do not want to be tied to an office. I have also observed that I work better, and I am more productive when working remotely.
The most crucial point is the progression path. How can you ensure me that I can progress through my career? I do not want to be a junior after five years as a software engineer. I do not think anybody wants that either. Time is something you cannot get back. Thus, be careful.
Good mentors are hard to come by. However, I am interested if the company is keen on assigning me a mentor. I want to mention that this point applies mostly when you are a junior developer. But this can apply to more experienced developers too. There is always someone more experienced than you; thus, you can still have a mentor.
Exciting work. It is not always possible to do exciting work. Sometimes we have to do boring work, and it is fine. The problem is when the tedious work is the norm. Ask them to tell you about their projects, or to show you some samples.
Do you still think the salary is the most important thing? I highly recommend that you re-consider that. When applying for a job, or before accepting an offer, take into consideration:
- the learning opportunities
- the possibility of working remotely
- the progression path
- if there are good mentors
- if you are doing exciting work