Any time you change jobs, it’s a big deal. A leap of faith with your career and often a step outside of your comfort zone.
Many fall into the trap of rushing into a new position, whether out of blind excitement or desperation to leave your current position; whatever the reason it’s a trap you do not want to fall into. So, you have reached the decision that now is the time to change positions, but how do you tell whether a position is right for you?
Before you apply
The very first thing to consider when starting a job search is, what is important to you? Be analytical about your previous positions, think about your strengths and what you want to achieve in your next position.
Scrunitising all elements of your previous role, positive and negative and then thinking about how you want to progress your career will help extrapolate the factors which will make the next position right for you.
Be choosy about the roles which you apply for. Look at the job spec and see whether the position is aligned with your experience and career goals, but more importantly speak with your Recruiter! A good Recruiter will take the time to completely understand your skill-set, experience and career aspirations as well as having a complete understanding of the position available. Your Recruiter will be able to explain the role in more detail as well as provide you with an in-depth insight into the business and how they perceive the role and the progression opportunities.
Do your research
Going into the right sort of company culture is unquestionably important in ensuring job satisfaction in your next position. The million-dollar question (depending on your salary) is, ‘are they right for me?’
Find out as much about the company as possible, from as many sources as possible. Not necessarily about the position, but much more broadly, about the (culture of the) company. Make the most of online resources such as Glassdoor (though, take what’s written there with a pinch of salt) and also try and discover why the position has become available. If you’re the fourth person they’re hiring for this position in the year, sound the alarm! If it’s because of company growth, brilliant! You will also be able to ascertain a much better insight into the company culture throughout the interview process.
During the interview process
Interview processes have changed. They (mostly) are no longer the old-fashioned, sit down, get a grilling, then if you’re fortunate enough to be deemed worthy you may receive a job offer. Now, it’s much more of a two-way street and gives you the opportunity to find out as much about the company and position as possible, in turn allowing you to make an informed decision on whether the position is right for you. Take advantage of this!
Take advantage of the ample opportunities to ask questions to discover the company culture. Ask open-ended questions during the interview process, such as:
This will give you a real insight into what working for that company is like. Make these questions individual to the person interviewing you. Avoid asking generic questions such as: how would you describe the company culture? As all you will hear is the corporate, ‘yeah it’s great, blah blah blah’.
Will I fit?
There is a famous saying: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers. A survey in the Huffington Post found ‘50% of employees leave because of their boss’. This highlights the importance of the people you’re working with and the organisation which you’re operating within. The fact it’s universally acknowledged that the majority of people would stay (longer) in a role they’re not satisfied with, purely because of the people there is alarming and really puts into perspective the importance of moving into the right company.
Make sure you meet the person you would be reporting in to (and other members of the team if possible). Do your research into them, what’s their career background? What do you have in common?
Ask questions like:
You don’t need to be best friends with your manage, but finding out as much about them, their managerial style and managerial track record will give you a strong insight into what it would be like reporting into them.
After the offer
In terms of finding out whether a position is right for you or not, most of the hard work will have been done by this point and you will know before the offer whether you intend on accepting. However, the offer itself can also give you an insight into the business.
Look at the package they’re offering you. Does it match what you have discussed with your Recruiter, or even the company directly? How helpful have they been? These factors again will give you an insight into the company and allow you to determine whether a position is right for you.
Why does it matter?
It’s critically important that you discover what is of most importance to you in your next position and prioritise what these are. There are ample opportunities to conduct your own discovery into a business and position and showing your genuine interest to find as much out as possible, you will enhance your chances of progressing with an application. Gathering as much information as you can about all aspects of your next role will help ensure it is the right role and will significantly lower the chances of making a poor career decision.