Twelve things to consider when looking for a job
In today’s market, job seekers are in the driver’s seat, and what is most important has shifted following the pandemic. If you are looking for a job, here are twelve things to consider.
Location: The pandemic has made this a game-changer. With increased opportunities for remote work, employees have more choices. What might have required a long commute might not necessarily be so. And working for a company across the country is no longer a fantasy. Discuss up front if remote work is an option and understand what is required or works best for you.
Job title and responsibilities: This goes to your skills and aspirations. It can impact your career path, including salary, benefits, reputation, and future opportunities. Do not limit yourself, but also consider whether you are venturing too far from what you do well and what satisfies you. Also, make sure the job title and responsibilities are aligned.
Company history: Do your homework. Do they churn employees? What is their financial track record? How do they rate vs. competitors? What kind of credibility does its leadership have? If a company has a history of drama, mergers, downsizing, and acquisitions, you might experience more of the same.
Company values: Find a company that aligns with your values. This fit is crucial because it ties directly to employee engagement. How does the organization choose to go about its business? What is the mission statement, and does the company actually live it?
Culture fit: This one is huge. It will significantly impact job satisfaction, engagement, and productivity. Find a place where you feel comfortable. Make sure everyone feels welcome and has a chance to contribute.
Salary and benefits: Know what you want and know what is fair. The best fit long term might not be the job that pays the most; other factors tend to define long-term satisfaction. Make sure you are at peace with the offer or be prepared to walk away. Your best position to negotiate is before you are on board.
Work hours: Does the job require late nights or weekends? Is the expectation beyond a normal workday? Are there opportunities to pick up extra hours for extra pay? Know what you are getting into, and make sure it aligns with what you want and need.
Work-life balance and flexibility: Beyond your schedule, know how your work structure will impact your life. Look for an employer that can meet your needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer but have candid discussions on this topic.
Professional development and advancement: Where are you headed? Ask about the company’s professional development program and history of internal promotions. Know whether you are making a quick stop or a long-term stay.
Appreciation and recognition: How does the company reward great work? The best workplaces recognize and appreciate their employees. Be sure appreciation is part of the culture.
Leadership and management: Ask about the company’s management style. Get a feel for how it would be to work there. Do employees respect their leaders?
Tools and technology: Think about what you need to be successful. What technologies you will be working with? What will be provided, and what might you need to get on your own? Make sure the company is staying sharp and continuously improving.
Look for a place where you feel valued, heard, and appreciated.
Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s partner for Top Workplaces.
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