Sticky Notes: The Dream Job Factors

Our research shows there are eight factors people look for when choosing a job—or choosing whether to stay in a job.

What is the No. 1 issue troubling business leaders in nearly every industry today? It’s getting harder and harder to recruit, motivate, and retain the best talent at every level in nearly every industry—especially among the new young workforce.

Our research shows there are eight factors people look for when choosing a job—or choosing whether to stay in a job. We call them the “dream job” factors:

1. Performance-based compensation: The basic threshold financial compensation and benefits must be competitive with other similarly situated employers, but next most important is clearly defined opportunities to earn more money based on extra-mile effort and results.

2. Supportive leadership: Working with an immediate manager/supervisor who provides regular support, guidance, and direction.

3. Role and responsibilities: The actual work, per se. Also, control of something (anything), the chance to put one’s name on (and get credit for) the tangible results one produces, and opportunities to grow and advance one’s career.

4. Location and workspace: The ability to work near where one lives or prefers to live. Also, an overall comfortable workspace and the ability to have some control over that space.

5. Scheduling flexibility: The ability to set one’s own schedule. Also, occasional scheduling accommodations to help employees respond to real-life scheduling needs.

6. Training and development: Formal and informal opportunities to build new knowledge and skills.

7. Relationships at work: The chance to build productive and mutually supportive working relationships with colleagues, leaders, managers, clients, customers, and vendors.

8. Some autonomy and creative freedom: Clear requirements and defined parameters that establish the boundaries within which employees can navigate with independence and creativity.

Bruce Tulgan is founder of RainMakerThinking. Website: Twitter: @brucetulgan. E-mail:

Bruce Tulgan
Bruce Tulgan is a best-selling author and CEO of RainmakerThinking, the management research, consulting, and training firm he founded in 1993. All of his work is based on 27 years of intensive workplace interviews and has been featured in thousands of news stories around the world. His newest book, “The Art of Being Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the Right Things Done” ( Harvard Business Review Press) is available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major booksellers. Follow Tulgan on Twitter @BruceTulgan or visit his Website at: