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What are your workplace non-negotiables?

On average, we spend one-third of our lives at work. That's 90,000 hours over the course of a lifetime. Taking into consideration commuting, business travel, overtime, and all that time that we spend talking or thinking about our work, those hours significantly increase!

The post-pandemic workplace gives workers from all industries the chance to re-evaluate their careers, the company they work for, and job titles. The Great Resignation has created a candidate market with more perks and flexibility than in the past.

If the Great Resignation is tempting you to join other workers leaving their jobs in droves, now is the time to consider your workplace non-negotiables. If you don’t, then you risk taking on a new role that has the same or similar downsides to your current job.

Workplace happiness

Happiness at work in the UK is a subject of hot debate, with satisfaction rates on the decline. A recent "Work Happiness Score" survey by Indeed found that only a third of UK workers are happy in their jobs, which leaves plenty of unhappy employees. So, when it comes to your next career move, non-negotiables are key.

What are workplace non-negotiables?

It’s important to identify and define what we want from our workplace, employer, and new manager. Termed ‘workplace non-negotiables', they enable you to be truly content in your working life. Your workplace non-negotiables outline what you expect from your employer, boss, work environment, and culture, including what you will and won’t accept from others.

Deciding on your non-negotiables

Non-negotiables are not new, but until the Great Resignation, it wasn’t something we always gave much thought to. Whether it’s not working at home in the evenings because it’s family time, or not dating anyone who smokes, we all have aspects of our lives that are non-negotiable. 

Workplace non-negotiables reflect our personal values, ethics, and principles. A clear set of expectations enables you to make decisions that are better for your professional growth and career. There’s nothing like leaving an unhealthy work environment or a toxic office environment to get you considering your workplace non-negotiables.

Before you begin your job search, set aside time to reflect on how you would like to be perceived in your career and potential new workplace. Align these with your personal values.

Examples of workplace non-negotiables

Common examples we see from our current candidates include:

  • A higher salary
  • Autonomy over workload
  • Remote, flexible or hybrid working options
  • Training and development programmes
  • An opportunity to develop new skills
  • Commuting distance and/or business travel expectations
  • Company mission statement that aligns with personal values

Having a list of deal-breakers prepared can help you make decisions throughout your search and stop you from wasting time with positions that aren’t a good fit. After all, it’s easy to get excited about a new title, higher salary, or new company benefits but forget why you started job hunting in the first place.

Consider the role fully

When applying for a new job, take time to consider the responsibilities of the role. Many job seekers like a company and can be won over by an opportunity for an employer with a well-known brand, but don’t consider what they would be doing on a daily basis.

Non-negotiables are likely to change

As we grow in our personal and professional lives, our values and non-negotiables may change. Evaluating them on a regular basis will ensure that you are always reflecting on your true self, enjoying your career and feeling like you belong in your organisation.

Here to help

If your current employer isn’t aligned with your values or your non-negotiables, Meraki Talent would love to help you find a role with a company that does. We have a wide range of vacancies for professionals in the areas of IT, law, accountancy and finance.V

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