A leadership expert explains how to find a job you’ll still like years later

Team work plan office job coworkers
Hint: It’s not about salary. Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr

Humans are notoriously poor judges of how much they will change in the future.

You might be 100% convinced that you’ll love working in management consulting for the rest of your life, only to decide two years after taking the job: Eh, it’s not for you.

It’s hard to get around this problem completely. But if you’re deciding whether to take a job offer, and if you don’t want this to be a stay-two-years-and-bounce kind of thing, make sure you find an organisation where you love your coworkers.

That’s according to Simon Sinek, leadership expert and bestselling author of multiple books including, most recently, “Leaders Eat Last.” Sinek visited the Business Insider office in July for a Facebook Live interview and laid it out for us:

“It’s all about the people. Very often we choose the job that pays us the most or offers us the best benefits — which is good in the short term. But if you don’t love the job, you’re not going to advance in the organisation anyway.

“Whereas, if you take a lower-paying job that you love, you’ll advance at the organisation. You’ll eventually make up the shortfall and go beyond it.”

In other words: If you don’t get along with your coworkers, you probably won’t want to stay long enough to climb the ranks. Or, your coworkers won’t like you enough to promote you. And you’ll find yourself scouring job boards once again.

Sinek’s observations are supported by research. As psychologist Ron Friedman writes in “The Best Place to Work,” studies have found that people with a best friend at work tend to be more engaged and switch jobs less often.

Even if you never develop a BFF-ship with one of your coworkers, it’s important that you feel close to them. So pay attention to the types of people you meet during the interview process.

Ask yourself these questions from Sinek: “Do you want to spend time with them? Do you want to have drinks with them after work? Do you like them? Do you think that they care about you? Where do you feel like you belong?”

Of course, it can be hard to answer these questions about people you’ve only met once or twice. But Sinek’s point is to think just as carefully about your prospective team members as you do about the salary and benefits package.

Sinek said: “You want go somewhere where you feel like it’s your second family.”

Watch the full interview: