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Picking the right job: 7 Factors to keep in mind when choosing a career


In an earlier post, I spoke about the benefits of informational interviews.  They say it’s ‘all about who you know’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ‘get to know’ anyone you like. Reach out for a coffee, ask some meaningful questions, and make an educated decision about what job might be right for you.

Have a 30 minute conversation with someone who is in the position you are looking to fill. If you do that, you will get a far better understanding of what the work and work environment is going to be like, ultimately helping you decide if that is the right career path for you.

So a few resumes have been sent out (ok, perhaps more than a few) and organizations are finally getting back to you. How though, do you know what to do next when all of the options look so good?

Let’s Break it Down

1. What are the people like?  

Don’t forget that we spend as much time our co workers as we do our families. If we work 8 hours a day (not including emails, texts, etc. after work)  it is really important that we enjoy spending time with the people we work with.

2. What will the work life balance be like?

Is the work environment 9-5? Is that what you want? Or is it more demanding and requires after hours commitment as well? Neither one is right or wrong , it’s just personal preference.

3. What is the salary?

Does the salary offered enable you to live a life you want? Is there an earning ceiling, or is there room for you to grow?

4. What is the company culture like?

How do people do their work? What emotions and feelings would describe their work ethic? Does this align with your values?

5. Is there travel involved?

Do you want travel to be a part of your work life? If not, and the posting requires a lot of travel (road or air), maybe it isn’t the best position for you.

6. Work flexibility?

Are you able to work from home? From a coffee shop? Are there spaces and times to work in teams? All of these questions are important to ask.

7. How will you be managed?

What does performance management look like? Are you going to be micromanaged? Do you want to be?

Getting More information

It isn’t the organization's job to cater to you. If it feels like you’re forcing yourself to fit into a company, chances are it isn’t the right place for you, even if it looked perfect on paper. Keep in mind that this isn’t a problem. In fact, you’re likely saving yourself a ton of time and energy, allowing you to move on to the right career sooner rather than later.

Finding a job is no simple task, there are always so many unknowns. But spending a little extra time early in the process could be the difference between a job you hate and a career you love.

Written by Eric Termuende