Getting a job is a must for everyone, but how do you know the jobs you’re applying for are genuinely right for you? When you’re just looking for money, that probably doesn’t seem like a priority. However, years, months, or even weeks down the line, a poor choice can end up leaving you burnt out and looking for a new job a lot faster than you’d hoped.
So, how do you know what job is right for you?
There are a lot of ways to vet a job before applying or committing too much time it. Today, we’re going to cover the top 5 ways to choose a career and skip the burnout and sense of dissatisfaction a lot of people experience when they first start working.
Let’s get started.
1: Pay Attention to Company Culture
This is a big one, but a lot of professionals don’t think about it much. It’s tempting to accept things you’re not fond of when you have the opportunity to follow your dreams. Unfortunately, doing that can leave you miserable.
Before you settle on a job, you need to know what the company culture is like wherever that job is going to take place.
Maybe you're not into a lot of casual interaction and like to simply get your work done and go home or vice versa. Maybe you value your family time and don’t want to work at a job that doesn’t offer time off for your kid’s soccer games, holidays, etc.
The good thing is, while industries tend to be known for certain cultures in general, the exact company culture you’ll deal with is an individual company thing. So, you don’t have to give up pursuing your dream job if one company doesn’t meet your needs. You just need to look at other companies that will.
2: Do a “Background Check” on Management and the Business
Any time a company even remotely considers hiring you, the hiring manager looks into every tiny detail of your past. Not only do they ask you a lot of personal questions in the interview, but they also run extensive background checks, check your social media, and more. They want to make sure they’re not hiring a bad employee.
Why not do the same to them? After all, you don’t want to work for a bad employer, right?
You might not be able to run actual background checks, but you can check sites such as Indeed, Yelp, GlassDoor, and a few others to see what former employees and customers are saying. See which companies are ranked the best companies to work for by US News. Career Bliss also weighs in with their top choices of the happiest companies to work for. You can also ask people you know who have worked there what their experience was. Linkedin is a great place to reach out to connections who may know people at that company.
This is a good way to figure out if you’ll like the job or not. If there are tons of reviews with employees claiming the company is disorganized, management acts inappropriately, or other concerning things, you know to look elsewhere.
Many reviews will also call out specific managers for good or bad reasons, and if you know the manager's name, you can search for them specifically.
The companies you apply to are going to do this to you. You might as well do your due diligence, as well.
3: Know Your Goals
A job should meet your long-term career goals. If it doesn’t, you’ll find yourself becoming stagnant not long after you start.
Of course, the only way to know if a job is going to work toward your long-term goals is if you understand your goals in the first place. Then, weigh the job and its available opportunities for growth against your planned goals.
If the job is going to get you the experience you need to move on to bigger things, allow you to grow into the future you want, or otherwise further your goals, it’s a good move. If it’s just going to fizzle out without giving you any long-term benefits, it’s best to look at something else.
4: Make Sure You Know the Job is What it Claims
This shouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately, it is. Sometimes, you’ll be going through job descriptions and researching potential target jobs, see a lot of claims that sound absolutely perfect, and then you’re at the job for a couple of weeks, and you find out the person making the description wasn’t honest.
It happens far more often than it should in a professional setting. We’ve known people who applied for a skill-specific job just to be hired on as an entry-level employee doing an entirely different job.
It’s your job to verify that you’re actually signing up for the job you want. Ask questions at the interview, look for red flags in the listing or in online reviews, and avoid the bait-and-switch that some companies rely on.
5: Know Your Target Salary and Stick to It
Finally, you should understand your financial needs before you look for any jobs. If you’re living in an apartment that costs $2000 per month, you can’t afford to make $13 an hour starting out. Even if the job itself is perfect in every other way.
Determine what you need to make, the benefits you need, any time-off requirements you have, and then find jobs that match those needs.
You can always make life changes to accommodate certain concessions you need to make, but it’s best to find a job that meets your needs from the start or at least gets close.
A lot of people shy away from doing this, but make sure you verify any potential salary and benefit questions when speaking to the company’s rep.
6: Take a Quiz and Get Your Career Search on Track
If you’re searching for a job that is going to meet your needs and feel fulfilling, the tips we gave above are great, but you can use a little help.
The first thing we suggest when someone asks “how to know what job is right for me” is to take our Career Match Quiz, designed to help you understand what careers you are wired for. If you’re already in a career, but aren’t sure if its right for the long-term, you can gain more insight by taking our Job Happiness Quiz or the Career Change Quiz.
At Innate, we offer a variety of quizzes that will point you toward the right career path. Expore all of our assessments, today.