Get the Job that’s Right for You

Putting someone in the wrong job creates misery for companies and workers alike, according to the results of a survey from the staffing experts at OfficeTeam.

OfficeTeam interviewed human resources managers, and found that six in ten of them admitted to occasionally misjudging a job candidate’s compatibility with their company’s work environment.

Not surprisingly, two-thirds of the HR managers said that their companies had lost an employee due to that person not being right for the job, or the company.

To avoid a miserable mismatch, OfficeTeam suggests that job seekers as themselves the following seven questions when evaluating a potential workplace:

  • What values are important to you? It’s challenging to work at a company if its principles are at odds with yours. Information about a firm’s vision, philanthropic activities and awards may be available on its website. You also can ask the hiring manager about characteristics the employer values.
  • Are you a team player? Someone who enjoys collaboration would thrive at a company that emphasizes teamwork over autonomy. During the interview, ask how often projects are completed as a group versus independently.
  • How much of a risk-taker are you? If you’re keen to try new ideas, a conservative organization may not be the best match. Read up on the employer’s recent initiatives to get a sense of its direction and inquire if the company encourages innovation.
  • What type of work environment do you thrive in? You may prefer a quiet, closed office over one that’s open and lively. Take a look at the setup when you’re on-site for an interview.
  • Do you like hanging out with coworkers? Socializing with colleagues both inside and outside the office can be common. Find out if there are any fun company traditions and how milestones are celebrated. You also may glean clues about the corporate culture from what you observe while walking around the building.
  • Which perks are on your wish list? Many professionals appreciate organizations that promote work-life balance. Information about some benefits, such as flexible schedules or on-site services, may be listed in the job posting or on the website. It’s usually best to hold off on asking about perks until an employer has expressed serious intent in extending a job offer.
  • What are your long-term goals? It’s important to make sure a company is a good fit for your career objectives. Ask about advancement opportunities, and determine what professional development and training options are available.

When you really need a job, it can be tempting to take whatever is available. We rationalize the decision by telling ourselves that we can’t be too picky, and that we need to learn to fit in with new and different experiences.

While that is usually sound advice, it can lead to grief when it comes to choosing a work environment and company culture. So, stop and take this OfficeTeam quiz whenever you’re faced with a career decision.

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