It’s NOT All About the Money

Looking for a new job is truly a full – time endeavor. You need to focus and have clear goals as to what you are looking for. The culture, the people and the person you will be reporting to all matter – as does the role you will have. That being said, it’s amazing to me that so many candidates still focus on the almighty dollar. Show me the money! Yep – you heard it. Finding the perfect gig for you should include checking ALL of the boxes – not just the compensation box.

Your value equation and how you are paid for your knowledge, experience, educational credentials all matter. I get that. What I don’t understand is when candidates try to make a career decision solely on the basis of increasing their W-2. To me there is a fine balance that you must have when weighing out a new opportunity. I suggest that candidates look at the entire opportunity. Stand back for a day or so and make sure you are signing an offer letter for ALL the right reasons. Sure, if you know people who work for the new company and they can vouch for the culture, management and other important details about the company – that’s great. But, while it may be great for them, it may not be great for you.

I suggest you take inventory of ALL the things that matter the most to you and create a score card when faced with an important career decision to join a new company. Measure what matters as a whole – not just the income piece. Score categories in a score card as honestly as you can. Try this scorecard on each opportunity the next time you have to pull the trigger on a job offer:

New Opportunity Score Card

Category Score (1= Low 2=Good 3=Awesome)

Career Progression(upward mobility)
Chemistry (with hiring manager and team)
Compensation (salary, bonus , benefits)
Work/Life Balance
References From Current Employees
Comfort Level w/ New Role
Gut Feel

Create the categories that matter the most to you. However, do yourself a favor when evaluating a new opportunity. ALWAYS include the Four C’s – Culture, Career Progression, Chemistry and Compensation.  If your score is close when measuring multiple opportunities – use the “gut feel”  category as a tie-breaker. Your gut feel usually is a great barometer for big life decisions.

Always score each opportunity! You will be glad you did. Promise!

About the author


Tim Tolan

Tim Tolan is the Senior Partner of the Healthcare IT and Services Practice of Sanford Rose Associates. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and sales. Tim is also the co-author of "The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition – Finding Talent Your Competitors Overlook," available on Amazon.

1 Comment

  • Hi Tim – The good news is that the HCIT market is once again in a place where career mobility and multiple offers are commonplace. Your point could not be more true about understanding the 4 C’s. I have coached several people in the last 6 months that have “left industry” for jobs in consulting. The first allure for them was the compensation, but as they learned that THE MOST IMPORTANT thing about a consulting firm is its culture, they each chose the right firm for them.

    What each of them learned:
    1) Anybody can call themselves a consulting Firm. It is important to understand if the Firm really consults or simply provides contract resources. There is quite a spectrum.
    2) Each firm has its own expectations for travel and for charge-ability. Again there is a wide spectrum of expectations.
    3) It is important to understand how the Firm differentiates itself. Do they have great client relationships? Do the have “a better mousetrap” or better methodology? Are they focused on a certain geography?

    Thanks for the great post!

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