Choosing the Right Job with the Right Company

Making sure you’re applying for the role that’s right for you is tough enough as it is. Colleges offer so many career focuses, and new grads often find themselves struggling to figure out exactly what entry-level role is the “best choice” to commit to. On top of this, the journey to finding a fitting workplace can be a short race or a long marathon, depending on whether you ask employers the right questions. If you’re lost trying to define what the right job and company look like to you, ask yourself if it’s a fit for your personality and values, before asking them about learning opportunities and job stability.

Choosing the Right Job…

As a recent graduate or new recruit, choosing an unfitting career path is dangerously common. Some students chose their major out of pressure from family, for the expected salaries or status upgrades, or out of fleeting passion for a certain subject – among other reasons. Skills don’t have to be narrowed down to fit under the title of some major of study, industry, or vertical. Instead, you can ask yourself a few simple questions to find similarities in what you like, what you like doing, and what’s important to you[1]. Start out by writing down 10 things that you enjoy doing. Don’t think too much about how lucrative any of them are. Next, figure out the skills that you employ when doing those things, and write them down as well. Record some other details too, such as your passions, skills, and what you seem to excel in. Look at all this data on a single piece of paper to draw a pattern between what you like doing, your unique skills, and any relevant passions to keep work fulfilling.

If you’re already confident in your chosen path and have been looking at positions to apply for, don’t forget to maintain an open mind. Most career experts will agree that newcomers to the job market should be patient in cementing their chosen careers, and open to the possibility of a career change down the line.

With the Right Company

Does the Company Match Your Character?

Most companies are searching for a certain type of individual when adding members to their teams, though it doesn’t mean you should change who you are. Instead of morphing your personal traits to match the expectations of a potential employer, as many fresh faces in the workplace attempt to, it could be a mismatch in personality or core values. An office with less inter-team interaction may not feel right for a collaborative individual, for example, or maybe you’re an environmentally-driven person who appreciates the green initiatives of a certain company. These are the factors to think about when building the roster of potential companies. Simply put – if your personality seems to jive well with other team members and the company aims to uphold many shared values of your own, these are initial signs of a great fit in the long run.

These things will come to light over the course of employment, though you can get a feel for them ahead of time by getting a feel for the current employees. If you’re being placed on a tight-knit team, then knowing a bit about your possible team members will help you discern whether you’ll enjoy collaborating with them. These people typically interview directly to get a feel for candidates, so understanding how they communicate, what they expect from coworkers, and what drives them will help you decide whether it’s a match.

Does the Company Encourage Advancement?

As a new recruit in the workplace, you probably want assurance that your industry education and career development will continue to grow with your next position. Avoid stagnant workplaces by asking how often they train and educate their workers, since it will directly impact your career progression. This goes hand-in-hand with whether there’s room to grow within a given company. Businesses that cultivate their staff with effective training and continued education often value their loyal employees by promoting from within. This is a great end-of-interview question and will give you a feel for the roadmap of advancement within the company. If you’re an intern with the chance at earning a job offer post-graduation, this is a good sign that your company allows for advancement from within.

Will Your Future Be Secure?

Another crucial trait to assess when scrolling through companies is a history of stability. Has the company been around a while? Does it uphold a good reputation? These are things that can be researched with a simple Google query and a glance at some Glassdoor reviews. Feeling secure in your next job will keep you relaxed, more engaged, and is often shown through low turnover rates. Ask a recruiter or hiring manager about their turnover rate to get a better outlook on employee sentiment towards the company. Job security is a multifaceted metric, and a big part of it is how a company sets its employees up for success down the line. This typically starts with orientation and is sustained by ongoing training. Periodic performance checks accomplish this with constructive feedback to speed up the learning process. Small items like this, as well as weekly goal-setting and one-on-one training, makes people feel like their boss truly values them and their professional future. Knowing that you’re learning skills that can carry over into your next position is important too. The job description usually lists the duties and responsibilities required, but sometimes they don’t tell the full story. Do some research on the job title itself, and don’t be afraid to ask an interviewer whether their company offers skill shops and other learning opportunities. This way, you’ll get a finer sense for how much the company is truly willing to invest in its employees’ future well-being.