Skip to content


What do we look for in a job?

An interesting article in FT by Lucy Kellaway titled “Thrusting young careerists give the lie to ‘Generation Y‘” caught my attention – I disagree with several points that the author makes in the article, but it sure prompted me to think about what we look for in a job – after all the real war of the future will be the war for talent.

Here is my view of Generation Y. They are just like all the generations that went before, only they have got smoother skin and less experience and spend more time on Myspace. As employees they want the same things as everyone else: a good salary, interesting work and recognition. Any company that makes clear it is offering those things may find some genuine talent – young and not so young – comes knocking at its door.

I bet its not as simple as that. What DO we really look for in our jobs?

Posted in Catch-all on February 6, 2007


8 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Nishant Hariharan says

    Hi Surya,
    This is Nishant from the old badminton days. Have been a silent observer of silent elequence for a while. Wonderful blog .. very thought provoking keep writing.

  2. 30in2005 says

    I think I’ve always been fortunate enough to have a balance between enough money and passion for my job. I always look for how any new job will influence my way of thinking in some positive direction – more than the money on offer – although that is important to give value to my education it is not important enough to lose myself for.

  3. anjali says

    What I look for in a job has changed over the years.

    Right out of grad school, i wanted a name brand job that paid well. When i moved to the US, I was looking for ANY job, and hoped it would be interesting. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a job in my field of interest. Now that i have many more years of experience under my belt, money or desperation don’t motivate me. Now, I look for interesting work, career satisfaction and doing something that I will get personal satisfaction from. I think a few years down the line, I might even think about a flexi time schedule and less office time or pursuing something totally different from what I am doing currently.

    For me, it’s always been related to the life stage I am in.

  4. Akshay says

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. The 3 parameters good pay, interesting work and recognition are definitely what people are looking for – its also how they prioritize the 3. Some people may choose better pay over the later through circumstance where as a person such as me would choose quality of work over the first and third. It would be hard to stereotype what people look for from their jobs.

  5. Surya says

    Thanks for the comments. Its nice to hear the different perspectives.

    Nishant: Nice to see you here! what a pleasant surprise, its been ages.

    Anjali: how have you been? will mail you..

  6. anjali says

    Hey Surya,

    Sorry for not writing for so long. Have been snowed in at work. I owe you an email.

  7. ginlindzey says

    I stumbled upon this page when doing a little research for fresh material/a fresh approach for National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week.

    I find these two comments serious food for thought: “Now, I look for interesting work, career satisfaction and doing something that I will get personal satisfaction from.” and “The 3 parameters good pay, interesting work and recognition are definitely what people are looking for – its also how they prioritize the 3.”

    Of course, with teaching we seem to ask people to sacrifice good pay for doing something they find highly important and valuable, and perhaps even critical to the well-being of society. Even still, it’s a hard sell.

    Many teachers will even say that wouldn’t recommend teaching as a job career choice.

    So, how do we sell these serious jobs in economic times like these?

  8. Marcel says

    Interesting Work with good working conditions, Good Pay and then Recognition



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Please answer: (required) Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.