Our candidates are always telling us: “It’s crucial for me to understand what I am looking for next. I want to take some time to understand what I love, and what I don’t love.”

But people often make decisions either too quickly or too slowly about when to look for a new job. They can get tempted too easily, or they get too comfy.

The market is especially confusing at the moment. There are so many good jobs, with recruitment agencies and internal recruitment managers whose role it is to sell you a new job – even if you didn’t think you were looking, it’s easy to be tempted. But at the same time with so many roles available in the digital industry, it makes it more tempting to not try as hard as you might in leaner times.

What we would really love you to do is to simply take a step back, give yourself the time to be more strategic about your career decisions. Here are the nine things that I think you should always think about when you’re considering a role.

Check your current situation

What is it about your current role that you like? You took the job for good reasons. Do those reasons still apply or have things changed? Do you still enjoy the work, the team you are in, the location, the salary, the commute, the benefits? Think about what you value in this job before you decide to take another one.

If you want something new, ask for it

If you are looking for a change, identify what it is. More money? More responsibility? More flexibility? If there is something you want to change, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Will it be a challenge?

Find out if the company is branching out into new territory and if you’ll be part of that team. A role where the parameters aren’t set will offer more of a challenge. Will the work expand your skill set and knowledge? If it does, you’ll be more motivated.

What’s on offer, besides the salary?

Of course, money is important, but find out what else is on offer. Ask about any benefits and perks, and whether they suit your lifestyle. Do you want childcare vouchers to help support your family? Or will the holiday-purchase scheme improve your work-life balance?

Are there opportunities to grow?

Ask about career progression. Will there be senior people to learn from? What training programmes are in place? In the digital industry, change is a constant, career development and an up-to-date skill set are must-haves.

Sample the working culture

To find out if the company would be a good fit, ask about the company culture. Look for evidence of teamwork, innovation, empowerment and supportive leadership. Ask about staff retention rates, they are a good indicator of a positive working culture.

Will they look after you?

In an always-on working environment, you need to take some time for yourself. Find out what opportunities the company offers for personal development and ask how it takes care of employees’ wellbeing. Is there flexibility over working hours? Can you work remotely if you need to?

At Futureheads, we take everyone’s well-being very seriously. We’ve even won awards for it!

Do the company’s values align with your own?

Looking at the company’s website will tell you about the work they do and who they work with. Ask your own network and look in the media to find what kind of reputation the company has. Does the business do the right thing? Does it support the wider community – can you find evidence of charitable work or a CSR programme?

Finally, make your decision a strategic one

The offer of a new role is exciting … even if it’s not the right role. Will the extra money on offer be worth the move if the commute means a 2-hour trip out to zone 6 every day? Will the homeworking feel like such a perk when you’ve only got your own four walls for company, instead of workspace among a team of creatives to swap and share ideas with? Making the best strategic decision will come more easily if you know what you value and what you want.

We spend our days at Futureheads advising people on what’s out there, and how to make the right decision when considering a new role. Say hello at be@wearefutureheads.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to offer our advice.


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