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What's Most Important in Accepting a Job Offer?

Ever get the feeling that you and the people who run businesses are on different planets?

If you do, you're not alone, at least when it comes to what a job seeker is looking for in an employer.

A recent study by HR consultancy Towers Watson found differences of opinion between employers and employees on the reasons people want to work for a company. Here are the top seven from both groups:

  Employer View Employee View
1 Competitive base pay Competitive base pay
2 Reputation of the organization as a great place to work Challenging work
3 Challenging work Convenient work location
4 The business/industry of the organization Opportunities for career advancement
5 Opportunities to learn new skills Vacation/holiday/paid time off
6 Opportunities for career advancement Reputation of the organization as a great place to work
7 Organization's financial health Flexible schedule

When you look at these lists, the groups agree on only four points. Sure, money is at the top of both lists, but look at the other reasons. The employees' reasons (convenient work location, vacation/holiday/paid time off, and flexible schedule) all speak to the need for work/life balance. Meanwhile, the employers' reasons (business/industry of the organization, opportunities to learn new skills, and organization's financial health) speak to the issues of job security, company branding, and professional development.

Granted, there are employers that unabashedly promote flexible scheduling and generous paid time off policies to prospective employees, just as much as there are job seekers who place more importance on the company's financial health and opportunities to learn new skills. It's all a matter of what has more value.

With that, I'm turning this over to you: What's most important when you decide to accept a job offer? Is it the work? The company? The money? The things that help with work/life balance? The opportunity to enhance your career? Tell us in a comment below.

RELATED LINKS

How Employers Make Room for Work-Life Balance
If Job Seekers Can Be Flexible, Why Can't Employers?
Has Fear Driven You to Stay in a Job You Hate?

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