Scrolling through social media you have probably noticed that there is a wish list guide for everyone this holiday season. With gift guides for “her”, “him”, and even the family pet, it can be easy to forget what you are really looking for. If you are seeking employment this holiday season, don’t get caught up in making a list of gadgets; instead, focus on creating your own job wish list. Knowing what you want out of a job will help you to decide which positions to apply for, questions to ask an interviewer, and ultimately whether or not you should accept a job offer.

As you build your job wish list, take into consideration that there are different categories that each item on your list will fall into: what you need in a job (non-negotiables), what would make the job more desirable, and what would simply be too good to pass up. Take a look at the list below, determine each area’s importance in your professional life, and ask yourself how you would categorize each.


  1. Schedule

Let’s start this list with the basics. What are the days and hours that you are available to work? Do you have a preference? As you are deciding what your ideal schedule is to put on your wish list, don’t forget to take your lifestyle into account. If skiing every weekend is a priority, avoid jobs that require you to come in on the weekends. If you are a coach for your child’s soccer team, make sure that the jobs you apply for won’t interfere with practices and games. Even if you have flexibility with your schedule, you should still be selective. Keep in mind what hours you are at your best and most productive and try to find a job that aligns with that timeframe.


  1. Location

Another area to include on your wish list is location. Determining this is as simple as asking yourself, “Where do I want to work?” Think about commute time, transportation, etc., and consider if working in a bustling city or more mellow suburb will add to your job satisfaction. Don’t rule out working remotely as you think about job location as well.


  1. Wage

One item on your list that will likely fall into the nonnegotiable category of your wish list is wage; after all, we all have bills to pay. Once you research the wage comps for the industry, location and position you are looking for, decide on a number that you are comfortable asking for should you receive a job offer. While there is always room for negotiation, knowing how much you need to make to pay your bills and live comfortably will help you with your search and decision.


  1. Position/Title

As you search for jobs, chances are that you are looking for a position and title that reflects your education and professional experience. As a result, it is unlikely that you will want a job that is a lower position or title than you previously held. Make sure that you are advancing your career rather than demoting yourself. Determine the role that you want in a company and adjust your job search accordingly.


  1. Benefits

What comes to mind when you think of benefits? 401k, dental, and medical? Undeniably those are important to include on your wish list as they may be nonnegotiable items, however, those are not the only benefits that should be considered. Going into your job search, keep a list of fringe benefits that you are looking for that would set a company apart from its competition.


  1. Culture

As you make your list, make sure that you decide where you see yourself fitting in and thriving. The culture of a company is important when considering overall job satisfaction and should not be overlooked as you apply for jobs. For many, company culture isn’t considered a deal breaker—but maybe it should be. When a company’s culture clashes with your personality, job satisfaction will plummet and productivity often suffers as a result.


Make your list, check it twice, and use it to filter your job options. Ask the questions that are important to you and decide which job offer to accept. Keep in mind that this list is also a useful tool if you are working with one of our recruiters at BTS. Communicate your wish list so that we can help you to find the job that fits your wants and needs!