We’ve worked with a lot of technicians over the years, and when talking about a new opportunity for them, it almost always starts with pay. If I were a tech, I’d ask myself the same exact thing.

It’s important to reach your goals, and take care of your family. Making sure you’re making enough money to do these things is at the core of why we work in the first place. If you’re not making money, what’s the point in working?

I think we can all agree that how you’re compensated for the work you do is highly important. Where I think we might need to start paying more attention is how important it is to find a true fit for us — Not only for our skill set, but for our happiness. How is my personality going to fit in with my new employer? Will they truly have my best interests in mind?

Finding the Right Fit

Oftentimes, we pay so much attention to what we’re going to get paid that we take our focus off of what we’re truly trying to get to… a place we’re happy to work at.

I’m as guilty as anyone of running for the money. Early in my career, I would jump at an opportunity to advance in my career. When I say advance, I really meant that I wanted to make more money. Little did I know the impact that only looking at money would have on me.

In the cases that I made a jump primarily for the money or a title, and not for how attractive the actual job was, I was absolutely miserable. I wasn’t switching jobs all that often, but when I did, I knew pretty quickly, that in my heart, I had made the move for money.

Takeaway: Evaluate More than Compensation

My advice to you is that if you are in a position that I found myself in, ask yourself if you’re looking to make a move primarily on the money. If you are, force yourself to expand your thinking. It’s easy to get into “honeymoon” thinking while doing that, but you also have to think of the downsides as well. Be realistic.

Something you can do to understand this is to make a likes/dislikes list based on your current job. For example:

  • What are the things that you love? What are the things that don’t feel like work to you?
  • What are the things you hate? Does it make you cringe when you have to do an inspection?

You may want to find out how much of that you’d be doing. When you sit down and think about it, grab a piece of paper and start writing.

Once you start writing, I think you’ll start to understand the things you like over and above the money. Make sure to use this list to do research on the company and to come up with questions that help you understand the shop’s stance on that during the interview.