The Art of the Job Search – Finding What Matters to You

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This week, we continue our series “The Art of the Job Search” with a checklist of what to consider as you research employers. These factors can help you determine if you would be a good fit for the company, and if the company would be a good fit for you. Does the company match your preference in these areas? In your own research and in the interview process, finding out if your preferences align with the employer will help you determine if they are a good fit for you, and vice-versa.

Company reputation
Is the company well-known in your area? If so, check reviews online and by word-of-mouth to determine how they treat customers and business partners.

What kind of company culture do you want? Please keep in mind that a company can encompass more than one categorization.

  • Family-oriented, with a focus on mentoring and nuturing the careers of its employees
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, with a focus on taking risks and experimentation with products and services
  • The primary focus is the competition and the results each employee produces
  • A structured and controlled environment, with a focus on efficiency

What is your ideal type of job description?

  • Very clear – You would know exactly what tasks you are responsible for in your position.
  • Somewhat clear – While you know your overall responsibilities (example: database maintenance), you are flexible with the specific tasks assigned to you.
  • Vague is fine – You don’t need a job description, as you are willing to take on whatever tasks are required at the time.

Location, location, location
How far are you willing to travel to work? Are there public amenities (access to public transportation, restaurants and stores) or is the company in a remote location?

Opportunities for advancement
Does the company provide annual reviews to discuss your performance and possibilities to move within the organization? How are raises considered?

Autonomy of the position
Especially as telecommuting positions become more prevalent, determine if you want to work on your own or as part of a team. This also speaks to the company’s privacy policies. Would you be working in a closed office or a collaborative work environment?

The more you know before accepting a position, the better off you will be. The interview process for some positions can be lengthy, so it is best to know ahead of time if the company would offer your ideal environment beforehand. As you begin talks with an employer, the research you have done will reflect your enthusiasm for the position. The interview process is also the time to learn as much as you can about a company and further gauge if the company or organization is a good fit for you.

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4 thoughts on “The Art of the Job Search – Finding What Matters to You

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