EMInfo Reader: The Department of Labor is reporting job switching at near record rates as members of the workforce have been trying to capitalize on economic momentum that is seeing U.S. employers add a record number of new jobs. I’m finding more and more candidates asking what factors they should factor into their new employment decision. What should I tell them?
Dr. Burtnett: In my book Career Errors, I introduce job seekers and changers to the Fundamental Employment Acceptance Test, or FEAT for short. FEAT asks candidates for new or different employment to examine six factors that must be considered when they are faced with choosing from among one or a number of job offers.
The FEAT test seeks to examine six elements that are critical to future satisfaction and success. Following, I have excerpted from Career Errors the basic question that each element seeks to address:
Work: Is the offered position one the job seeker is capable of performing at the required competence level and enjoy doing?
Employment security: Does the position under consideration possess the short-term and long-term security that will foster career success and satisfaction?
People factor: Does that workplace culture and interaction with people (i.e., peers, managers, etc.) correspond to the individual’s personal preferences and social needs?
Compensation and benefits: Is the salary commensurate with the job seeker’s knowledge and skillset and competitive in the business, firm, agency, organization, or institution where the work is performed?
Growth and mobility opportunities: Does the new employment promote workplace experiences, as well as continuing education opportunities, that will sustain and nurture the individual’s career development?
Life-work balance: Will the job seeker be able to satisfy personal and lifestyle interests and objectives both in their work and leisure experiences?
Using FEAT, the decision-maker creates a “yardstick” for measuring the acceptability of the job offer, including where she or he will place their unique priorities and preferences---thereby personalizing the process to the greatest degree.