Finding the right job can be challenging. It can be difficult to determine if it will give you the satisfaction you need. The key to a happy career life is passion for your work and a positive culture match. In order to achieve both, you need to understand what the components of an opportunity need to be for you.
Take an Inventory
What are the key things a position must have? Take a personal inventory of those things that matter most to you. Casual versus professional dress, commute distance. Consider the seemingly mundane things as well as obvious elements of work life. Once you have a list, you can prioritize which things are the most important, and which you’d be willing to work with. You might also want to journal as a way to explore what you already have and what you want to bring into your life with your next opportunity.
For some, having an abundance of resources is important. If that’s the case for you, consider the size of the company. Larger organizations often have more support and resources to provide their employees. Yet, with a large corporation you may also have to deal with bureaucracy and anonymity. In a sea of employees, it can be easy to get lost. At a smaller organization, the environment will be more personal, and you will be able to see your contribution to the company firsthand.
Mission and Values
Explore the company’s core values and culture. If the company is filled with outdoor enthusiasts, who take a 2-hour break for a bike ride, and you hate the outdoors, it probably isn’t a good fit. You don’t want to feel like an outsider. What values matter to you? Variety? Challenge? Having a voice? Look for a company culture that shares your values.
Think About Perspective
Consider both aspects of company extras. If a company brings in lunch every day for the team, you might consider this a huge convenience or even a luxury (lunch money adds up!) But some might feel taken advantage of because the implied expectation is that you’ll continue working while you eat. What camp do you fit in?
Do Your Homework
Going to Glassdoor or Yelp to read company reviews is a bad idea, if it’s the only thing you do. The people who are most likely to comment on those websites are typically disgruntled employees. You won’t receive an unbiased perspective on the company this way. It’s okay to read comments and feedback, just take it with a grain of salt. It’s often better to speak to someone who actually works for the organization now to get a real evaluation.
The most important thing to remember about picking the right job, is to spend the time necessary to know who they are and how that fits with who you are.
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