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5 Ways to Spot a Great Opportunity (and Avoid Bad Ones)

It’s a talent-short market. If you think your prospects of landing a new position are low at the moment, think again – the current job market belongs to talent. There’s a steady stream of amazing roles up for grabs and a lack of (suitable) applicants. If you’re ready to make your next move, NOW is the time.

Sure, not every live listing is going to be your dream job. However, if you can take some time during your lunch break, at the end of your workday or your weekend (note: please don’t job hunt during your working day, it’s disrespectful and rude to your current boss) to sit through the high volume of jobs available right now (see Adzuna, Jora, Mumbrella), chances are that you are going to find a winner!  

So, how do you even spot that “winning” job? And let’s be honest: no one has the time to research, apply and interview over and over. It’s exhausting and the rejection can take its toll. Luckily, learning to discern between the perfect job on paper versus in real life isn’t hard, but you need to know where to look.


It’s really hard to know your worth and sometimes it’s harder to ask for it! 

If you haven’t had a pay review (or increase) for at least 12 months, look for positions that offer at least $5-$10K more than your current salary package. Why? Why not!

If a dream job comes up, though, and management doesn’t want to budge on numbers, that doesn’t mean you need to turn it down. It does mean, however, you need to know how to negotiate. 

“Mr Client, if I’m hitting my assigned KPI’s in the first 3 months, receiving great client feedback and adding value to the culture, can we agree to lift my salary base by $5k?”

Make sure your company is willing to value your contributions and take negotiation seriously. If there’s resistance to this even before you have started the role (that’s a red flag!) find an employer that values your worth.

Location, location, location!

You’ve found a great job listing in your own city. Amazing! But before you sign a contract, consider the actual postcode. Anyone who’s taken PT (stinky trams, no thanks) or been stuck in rush hour traffic knows that a commute is never as the crow flies. If the office is more than an hour away from your home, really consider if you’re happy to give more than two hours a day, every day, to travel.  

Maybe you really love driving. Maybe you’re happy to move. There’s nothing wrong with a long commute, but really consider how happy you’ll be, waking up early when your initial excitement has worn off from getting hired. Can you find something closer to home? What about flexible working? Three days on-site, two days WFH? BOOM!

The Culture

You’ve done it: you’ve found a job that pays well, close to your home and you’ve landed an interview. Congrats! However, remember: a job is not just a job. A job, whether it’s at home or in the office, is the place where you spend five days a week spending time with people. This matters! 

If possible, try to meet your potential workmates during the interview process. If you visit the office, pay attention: what are the interactions like? What’s the atmosphere? Are people friendly? Chatting with their neighbours? Are their faces all frowning, staring at their computers in silence? If you get the chance, ask yourself if you’d want to be in their shoes. Is the office pet friendly? Are there snacks? Yoga? While the position might sound amazing, there’s no job that’s fun when you hate working on your team or in your office.


The best time to investigate flexibility is before you’re hired. Coming out of COVID, now is the best time to ask about flexible work options. Do they offer WFH options? If not, why not? Are the hours flexible (eg; can you start early and finish early if you’re an early starter)? What are the additional perks? What about additional parental leave?  Mental health days?

Ask, before you sign the dotted line, what they can offer and how willing they are to accommodate requests for flexibility. Do they have an open mind about perks? What can they offer beyond just a salary package?


While it may not feel like it, an interview is a two-way process. Instead of getting stuck in your head about trying to convince them to take you on, ask whether you want to be there. How does your manager come across? Are they approachable? Do they give you time to speak and listen to your questions? Are you heard or are you talked at? 

This conversation is a signpost for everything that’ll come after you take the job. If you have a bad gut feeling about a manager or don’t feel heard in an initial meeting, that’s a very good sign that this isn’t the job for you. A bad manager can make any job a nightmare. If one interviews you, stay clear!


When it comes down to it, choosing a new job is all about instinct. While a job may seem perfect on paper, pay attention, listen and ask questions. With so many opportunities out there, you owe it to yourself to be discerning and take a job that truly makes you happy!


Iceberg, Melbourne’s go-to recruitment company!  Specialising exclusively in recruiting for digital, marketing, PR, digital, experiential & advertising jobs. Permanent, freelance and contract roles available!. Sign up to our weekly newsletter HERE.