You submit your resume and sell yourself in interviews, but you’re not the only one in the spotlight. It’s up to you to seek out a company and a position that meet your expectations, too. To do that, you have to know what you want and what to look for. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you search for the perfect new job.
For many, a 9-to-5 position is a standard norm. But not everyone thrives in this type of environment, and not every business requires a schedule this traditional.
If it’s not part of the job listing, ask how many hours the company expects you to work each week. On top of that, figure out when you have to start. Some companies offer flexible start times so long as you put in your eight hours.
You’ll want to find out if you’ll be expected to work overtime, too. If a healthy work-life balance is essential to you—and it should be, for the sake of your health alone—how much overtime you’re expected to work will be an important part of your assessment of the job.
A healthy salary can draw you into reading a job posting, while the opposite can deter you from applying. However, your paycheck is only part of the story, and you won’t know whether the compensation is satisfactory unless you look into the benefits the potential employer provides.
If they provide health care, dental coverage, paid time off and 401K matching, it could be enough to bulk up the lower salary. In your interview, ask if there are any further perks, too, such as free gym memberships.
A clerical error on your part can prevent you from getting a job, so be sure you’ve accurately filled out every single application you send. And, it should go without saying, but bending the truth about your experiences will likely prevent you from getting a new role, too. In fact, it is within the employer’s right to rescind an offer if you’ve misrepresented yourself on a job application, so complete each form honestly and correctly.
Company History and Reputation
A quick Internet search can generally give you a pretty good idea of what you need to know about a potential employer. You can usually find out things like if they make regular layoffs or if they’ve ever been in financial trouble.
You can also find out what their public reputation is: Do they treat their staff well, or do they notoriously cut corners? You want to work for a financially stable organization that takes care of its employees—don’t settle for less than that.
On top of that, you want to know what the company’s like from the inside, too. Sites like Glassdoor can help you find out what previous employees have said about working there. These reviews will tell you more about the company’s organization, day-to-day happenings and whether or not these facets have pleased the people working there.
In an interview, you can also ask what it’s like to work there, if the environment is social, etc. Go to the company’s website ahead of time to learn more about their mission and values. If your views align, the job could be a great fit.
It’s great to ask your interviewer about their management style—and yes, you should always come to an interview with questions of your own. It’s important to consider whether your potential boss’s expectations of employees will work for you.
For example, they might allow you to fly solo most of the time, or they might check in regularly to see where you are. Depending on your working style, these setups could make or break your potential to work well with a particular manager.
The only way to go is up, right? You would think so. However, in some companies, it can be especially challenging to climb the corporate ladder. Luckily, there are many ways to find out what your opportunities will be.
For starters, head to LinkedIn and search for the company to which you have applied. Then, look at their employees’ profiles: Have many of them been promoted since starting? Or do they leave after a few years?
In your interview, you can ask about growth opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to do so, either, because it makes you look dedicated to the job and company. Be sure to ask about lateral promotions in other departments as well: Your particular post might not have many opportunities for advancement, but other areas of the company may have leadership roles suitable for you down the line.
Find What’s Right for You
Ultimately, everyone’s vision of the perfect job is different. All of the above considerations should be important to you, but there could be more to find out before you settle on the right position. It’s up to you to do the additional research and ask the rest of the questions to get the information you need before signing that offer letter.
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