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Career Corner – Finding The Perfect Opportunity
At my company, ProLango Consulting Inc, I see clients that get excited about job descriptions that look interesting on the surface, but end up being a poor fit in the long term. Desperate as they are for employment, they accept the new opportunity only to find out that the company culture just doesn’t work for them. They often end up terminating their employment, or they get fired by their new employer when it becomes clear how miscast they were for the role they accepted.
Besides the experience of losing employment – all over again – the psychological impact is similar what people experience when they go through trauma. It’s brutal.
Why waste time targeting a company, customizing your resume, finding and networking with the right decision makers, preparing for the interview and even negotiating salary, when it’s just not the right opportunity in the first place? Is there a way to avoid this? How can you decide in advance if a company is a good fit for you?
ENGAGE IN PRIMARY RESEARCH: Look up former and current employees on LinkedIn, and reach out to them to set up an informational meeting. In my experience working with hundreds of clients, I’ve noticed that former employees are more willing than current employees to share the truth about what it’s really like to work at the company.
Ask about the culture, management, work environment and anything else that is important to you. What is work-life balance like? Is the company pro-collaboration or micromanaged? This information can help you decide if you’ll excel in working in this kind of environment.
CONDUCT SECONDARY RESEARCH: If you haven’t yet, take a look at a site called Glassdoor. It shows anonymous reviews by both current and former employees of the company. Since the information shared is anonymous, chances are high that you’ll get details beyond what a current employee would feel comfortable sharing.
Also consider looking up the company on Google. Reviewing customer feedback, lawsuits, media coverage, third-party blogs and tweets could give you a better perspective on the company.
COMPARE YOUR CAREER GOALS AND VALUES WITH THAT OF THE PROSPECTIVE COMPANY: Now that you’ve gathered the necessary information from these sources, it’s time to make your final decision. Is this company aligned with your values or is there a major possible conflict?
If you truly want work-life balance, do yourself a favor and avoid working at companies that have an extreme burnout rate.
To find your values ask “When it comes to my career, what’s most important to me?”
List your top 3 – 5 values and make sure to find companies that will fulfill your needs. After all, isn’t that the primary purpose of our careers?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Paul Anderson is a nationally recognized speaker on career transformation and was the TV Co-Host of the weekly show “How to Get a Job in Seattle,” aired on Comcast. Paul has formally written career columns for The Seattle Times’ NWjobs, ABC’s KOMO 4 News, and CW’s The Daily Buzz. Anderson’s unique and research-based curriculum to career management has put him in demand with the army, national guard, professional associations, universities, NFL, corporations, and government agencies across the country. Paul’s empowering advice and career strategies have appeared in such media outlets as The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, Business Week, USA Today, The Seattle Times, and seen on the ABC, FOX, and NBC networks.
City University of Seattle has partnered with Paul and ProLango Consulting Inc. to offer affordable career seminars throughout 2014. Both are leaders in their industry whose focus is on preparing working adults for their next career move. For more information about ProLango and their upcoming events at CityU visit www.prolango.com.