Money, Ego, Security or Work/Life Balance – what will you choose?

November 8, 2015

  • What's your motivation?

    After the recent birth of my 3rd child, when I had a moment of solace, I found myself reflecting on my life & what mattered to me most – a rather common occurrence when someone goes through a life changing event. This, of course, led me to reflect on my current employment situation and overall career – more specifically how I would financially support my growing family and the ideal work life balance that I could achieve.


    Instinctively, I could feel the recruiter inside me asking myself the sort of questions that I have asked thousands of candidates during my career. If I was to change my situation what would be most important to me: career advancement, job security, better work/life balance, a more dynamic work environment or a bigger salary? Or would it be a combination of these?


    Subconsciously, my brain starting recalling the plethora of articles and blogs that I had read about Amazon’s supposed treatment of employees (both attacking or defending) and how I would feel if I was to work there or even be interested in joining them.


    From there I found myself thinking about how far people are willing to go to achieve their goals. In 2014, a tragic event rocked the investment banking world when a 21-year-old intern at Merrill Lynch died after working 72 hours straight. Although working long hours in the investment banking world is nothing new this sent off alarm bells everywhere. In fact, as a result Goldman Sachs instigated a “go home before midnight, and don’t come back before 7am” policy! Whilst this is a step forward, it begs the question “what  sacrifice will people make to achieve their goals and are they actually aware of these sacrifices?”.


    For any recruiter or hiring manager, it’s important to understand the underlying reasons why a candidate is seeking a new job, company or both. As we are all different there is no one size fits all answer. Regardless, by understanding people’s motivations, recruiters & hiring managers are in a better position to find the right match between employer and applicant.


    So how informed are candidates when shopping around for a new job? I am a firm believer that people should be given as much information as possible so that they can make the best decision for them.


    Would providing this additional information turn off the right or wrong people from applying or accepting a role? What impact would it have on productivity, staff retention and company branding? Surely, it’s a win-win for both employer and applicant if the applicant starts a new job with their eyes wide open.


    What are your thoughts? What motivates you to change jobs and are you aware of the potential sacrifices you may have to make?


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