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  • Writer's pictureJames Johnson

Candidates: 3 questions to ask yourself this January

A fresh new year is here, and maybe, for you, that means taking some time to be introspective about your career.


This month, I pose three questions for you that might help you decide if you’re in the right place with your current role, or ready to move on.


1. Do you get paid enough for what you do?


BambooHR surveyed 1,000 US employees to gauge how they’re feeling about their compensation. In a time when inflation has risen higher than in four decades prior, more than a third of the respondents said they haven’t had a raise in years. When asked, companies themselves said they plan to increase their salary budget by about 3.3% — while inflation is currently at over 9%.


Less than a quarter of people surveyed are actually disgruntled about their salary. But — and this is a BIG BUT — 75% would leave their job for a salary increase. How about you?



2. How do you like to spend your time?


For some people, a commute is a nice excuse to catch up on podcasts. For others, it adds hassle to the day and feels like wasted time. For some, working 9-5 provides structure; for others, it feels confining. Some people take it for granted that working late is part of the gig and feel willing to stay as long as they need to to get the job done well. For others, end-of-day is a hard stop — particularly if there are kids to pick up or other personal conflicts.


Here’s the point: finding the right job includes finding a job that lines up with your expectations of time spent at work. When? Where? How much? How predictable?


A good recruiter (like those of us at, ahem, Quantum Hires) will take all of these things into consideration when we align your interests and experience with potential roles.


3. How content are you right now?


If your answer is “James, I really don’t have a straight answer to that,” January is a great time to get introspective. Here are some of the biggest buckets to look at and think about.


  • Compensation, of course

  • The role you fill and where it could take you in your career

  • The impact you feel you make in the organization and in the world

  • How valued you feel

  • The people you work with


The importance of each bucket differs from person to person, and there’s a complicated, nuanced equation to evaluating when it’s time to stay versus time to move on.


If you arrive at the conclusion that it’s the latter for you, hit “reply” on this email, and let’s get started.


You can read more about this on Fast Company. And I’ll leave you with a few more recommendations for insightful reading this month.


Recommended reads for January:



Hope your year gets off to a great start. Until next month, be well!


James Johnson


Quantum Hires


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