Looking for a job can be a bit like dating. Will that first date (or first interview) turn into a long-term relationship?
It’s important to find the right job, a job that is an excellent fit for you now and for the future, either as a stepping stone for your career or as an opportunity you’ll be comfortable with for the long haul. If it’s an incompatible job, you’ll eventually end up having to start your search all over again. This adds to unnecessary career stress and will compromise the consistency of your CV.
Before you start your job search, be sure to spend time making sure you’re looking for the right job. If you’re not certain about what you want to do, talk to a career counsellor to generate some ideas. You can also use job search engines to sift for jobs that are a match for your skills, experience and interests.
Use your connections on LinkedIn to research these companies thoroughly. Try to gauge their organisational values to see if they align with your personal and professional values. Your contacts may also provide you with a referral for the position. These sense-checks will help you ‘click’ with your interviewer on the big day.
Remember, it’s just as valuable for you to interview the company as it is for the company to interview you. Be prepared to answer interview questions and have a list of questions of your own in preparation. This will show interest and diligence if your questions are executed in a polite and collaborative manner. If you’re not 100% sure about a job offer and you haven’t yet met the team you’ll be working with, ask if you can meet your future colleagues. It’s also perfectly acceptable to ask for time to consider a job offer if you need to think it over afterwards.
Another factor to consider is the company culture: is it the right fit for you at this stage of your career? Is it too formal – or too casual? How is the organisation structured? Are there opportunities for advancement, or potential conflict of personality with seniors? Spend some time reading what employees have to say about the company culture on Glassdoor, then go back to any relevant LinkedIn connections with follow-up questions.
At this stage, you’ll need to carefully re-evaluate the job offer. Do you truly want this job? Will you be happy doing it? Will it boost your career? Will it give you the flexibility or work/life balance you need based on your personal and health circumstances? Is the salary what you expected? If not, is negotiating a higher salary an option? Are the employee benefits sufficient for your needs? How about the work schedule, the hours and the travel, if required? If there’s anything about the job or its compensation package that is making you think twice, now is the right time to seek further clarification and advice before rushing to accept that offer.
Of course, not all jobs work out perfectly even if you make all the right moves. However, you’ll have a better chance of finding a suitable match if you’re careful about your steps in the job search process and you take the time to do due diligence before you say “yes” to the hiring manager. Just don’t take so long with your due diligence that you miss out on an opportunity!