Your next role is so much more than just a job title – it can be the spring board to the next stage in your career. But how do you identify those traits that make one job stand out from the rest?
Have you ever seen an advert for a job, read through the description and immediately applied? It’s happened to all of us when on the job hunt. But, before hitting ‘apply’ for one that matches your expertise, it helps to stop and consider all aspects of it that appeal to you, not just the question of “am I qualified enough?”
It helps to start by thinking about your priorities when looking for a new role and how they can help you in forwarding your career.
By evaluating all of these options, you can look at your chosen jobs in a new light and see how they fit with you rather than how you fit into it.
1) Career Goals
Ultimately, you should be looking for a job that allows you to reach your long-term goals. To this end, write out what your long and short term career goals are, which you can then refer to and use as a checklist as you apply for certain jobs.
Do you eventually want to reach the C-Suite? Start your own company? Being in a job that gives the opportunity to develop the skills and experience to achieve this is important.
But when you’re looking to complete some goals in the short-term, think about things like completing your first fully-managed project, training someone for the first time or having ownership over a job function. Does your next role allow you to achieve these? Hitting these milestones are the stepping stones to achieving your long-term goals.
2) Career Progression
Keeping your career goals in mind, you always ask yourself whether this job would allow for career progression within the organisation – or if that’s even something you want.
Hopping from company to company can be useful for gaining experience in different areas of your chosen industry and meeting new contacts. However, rising through a company over a number of roles can be beneficial for managerial experience and learning how a company operates as a whole.
If you want the opportunity to progress within the company but you land an interview at a business with no real progression route, are you willing to sacrifice this aspect in the short term at the gain of something else?
3) Job Role
Whilst your goals are certainly something to work towards, you have to make sure that you’ll enjoy your day-to-day too. Job satisfaction is largely determined by how stimulating and enjoyable your daily tasks are so you should ask yourself if they would utilise your skills in a way to keep you feeling motivated and, ultimately, more likely to succeed.
When reading job descriptions or discussing the role during the interview, have a think about whether the daily tasks of the role reflect your interests and allows you to leverage your talents.
If salary is a high job priority for you then being aware of your minimum level of income and benefits is crucial. Before applying for any job, research salary averages for the location and field you are interested in so you have knowledge about what should be offered for that role.
You should also take extra company benefits into consideration when being faced with a lower salary as they could make up for it in monetary value:
- Would you get private health insurance or dental cover?
- Would you get a company car or a car allowance?
- How many days holiday would you receive?
These are company work initiatives that form part of the larger compensation package that could help you make a decision between companies.
For many, workplace culture is a priority because it can contribute hugely to your job satisfaction. When considering if their workplace culture that will suit you, do some research into the company you are applying to find out their values and characteristics. Check out their ‘About’ page on their website to find out about their visions and values and also check their social media pages (Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) to find out more about company outings, charity events and anything else about the behind-the-scenes of the company.
Should you reach interview stage, try and ask questions such as…
- Do you value innovation with the organisation?
- Do decisions flow from top management down or is the process more democratic?
- Is a healthy work-life balance encouraged?
…in order to ascertain how the company runs itself.
By following these five steps, you can begin to evaluate whether the roles you’re applying for would be a good fit for you, rather than how you’d fit with them.
Take a look at our current job vacancies below to try out some of these steps!
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