I always took great pleasure in helping my friends find jobs and improve their approach to applying, interviewing and negotiating for a job, and now I would like to share my insights with all of you!
If you are looking for your first job, unemployed or thinking about a career change, I believe that my articles can add value in your search for a new, different or better challenge. There are many companies out there, but companies that fit you and your ambitions may not be that many and they aren’t easy to find!
In recruitment, the company you apply for, evaluates you, but evaluating should go both ways.
You, as a candidate, also have the right and the duty to assess the companies for which you apply for. An unemployed or someone looking for their first job may not think that way because he has a greater urgency in solving their employment status. But this can be a huge mistake and it may lead to wasting a better opportunity simply by not assessing all the available options . Looking for other opportunities and being selective about the companies you apply for is vital for your professional and personal success.
To be able to choose your next professional challenge with more knowledge, I leave you with the main criteria I use when looking for a new challenge or when helping someone find a new opportunity:
1. Corporate culture and work environment
This is probably the criterion that will have the biggest impact on your life within the organization in the short and long term. Each person deals with their work environment in a different way, and you should try to understand which way you identify more. For example, some people feel the need for daily competition to create extra motivation, so they should work in competitive environments (e.g work on commission), while others show their full potential in a team and prefer to work in more collaborative environments. If you can’t distinguish the work culture that which you identify yourself more, you should talk to those closest to you and learn more about your preferences.
To learn more about the different types of work cultures,I recommend this article: https://blog.udemy.com/types-of-organizational-culture/
While it’s essential to perceive the kind of company culture before you start working there, you should not base your judgment on one or two interviews.
It’s very important to ask the right questions during the interview, and you should also talk to the people who currently perform functions in the company or who have already left. I also advise you to consult the company reviews on sites like Glassdoor, as these can also help you make a more informed decision.
2. Good colleagues and colleagues that are good
It’s with your future colleagues that you’ll spend eight or more hours of your day. There are jobs where proximity is higher and more constant than others. Either way, having good colleagues is essential to balance your professional and personal development.
People with whom you work closely are in a position to teach you a lot of great things, hence when you are in dialogue with a company, it’s essential for you to, subtly, interview the person who is right in front of you.
Does he/she seems relaxed and confident?
Does he/she speaks with passion?
Can he/she teach us? Do you like he/she?
Can you imagine yourselves sitting next to he/she for three hours on the road?
These are the questions you should ask yourself when someone interviews you, to see if you are really able to identify with the interviewer and the project that is being proposed to you.
3. Managers, Supervisors and Mentors
Supervisors/Managers are the main reason why people leave their companies, so you should try to know your direct manager well before working for a company. In every job, especially in your first job, your manager will have a huge impact on your career, be it positive or negative. At first, it’s difficult to judge a good manager but, most times, your instincts are correct and, if your manager leaves you with a wrong first impression, it’s because, most likely, he/she will not be the best person to help you grow. So, try to see in your head a possible mentor, someone with whom you have an ease to communicate and learn from, so that your relationship is fluid and profitable for both.
4. Possibility of growth and learning
This is essential for your growth, for your career and for your well-being. If you are not constantly learning, your brain loses agility. Here’s an example: when you keep your money under the mattress, your money will not multiply. So it does being in a job that doesn’t offer you progression and learning. Find a job that allows you to grow and keep learning is a requirement, especially for the “Millennial” generation.
It’s quite likely that your parents have spent 20 years in the same company doing routine tasks but, nowadays, these jobs are less valued and they will probably not fulfill you because you will quickly stagnate and become bored.
So you should look for something that challenges you every day. For this to happen, we go back to the second principle “Good colleagues and colleagues that are good” because you can learn alone or you can learn with others. Usually, the second option is far more profitable, your colleagues will help you more quickly perceive if you are growing and learning in the best way or if there is a need to change and improve, but this only happens if you have colleagues that care about you and with a good knowledge of your area.
In an interview, something you should address are the growth prospects within the company. This will be correlated with the learning opportunities and chance of developing internally. Being more than 2–3 years in the same type of functions, depending on the function’s level of expertise, may cause you to start being less well-regarded by recruiters, so you should regularly look for new opportunities within your company. Talking to other managers (with the permission of our manager), asking for different tasks or helping colleagues proactively are good strategies to increase your knowledge and opportunities to evolve.
5. Current moment in the company and financial stability
Another important evaluation relates to the current situation of the company. You must consider whether the company is in a growth phase, stabilization, restructuring or decrease phase.
To assess that, you can consult a LinkedIn Premium account and see the growth of Headcount (Number of people in the company) or search company news in Google News, for example. That way, you can get a better understanding of the current state of the company. Once you get to the later stages of your interview, you can ask about the sales volume, the company’s turnover, perspective growth and other factors in order to determine the stability of the company. You must do this in final stages because the people you’ve talked to in the early stages don’t often have that type of information.
All this will impact on a future job proposal and, at this stage, you will also have another evaluation tool to determine the stability of the company. There are several components in addition to the base salary that you can and should consider. The so-called “perks” can compensate for a lower salary, including a salary with “allowances” which, although higher in net value, may not compensate in the end of the year. You really have to do the math and see whether or not a proposal is advantageous in regards to yours and your family’s situation. I recommend doing the math by considering your gross and net annual income to get a clearer picture of your actual paycheck.
In my opinion, these are the 5 key principles that you should look for in a company. Of course, there are many others but I believe that without this base, you’ll hardly be happy in the medium-long term.
I sincerely hope this article is useful for you and that you can find better work opportunities in your life! Leave your opinion or comment below. If you’d like, share with those who need or want to find a new job!