For many first timers entering the work force, the reality of finding a job can seem bleak. As such, it is commonplace for those seeking employment to desperately grasp onto the first opportunity that lands in their lap. While this undeniably provides security, reduces fear and (hopefully) provides the first stepping stone towards bigger and better things, is this approach always the best? Although it is an extreme privilege to be able to pick and choose the jobs you have and the career path you take, it is important to note that given you have the opportunity to do so, there are in fact ways you can steer the odds in your favour. So that if you are lucky enough, your job doesn’t just have to be a job. It can be something you enjoy and get a relative amount of fulfilment from.
All too often people are eager to rush into employment opportunities, and in doing so miss the all-important red flags that point to the job not being right for them. Eventually when they do come to realise this, it may be hard to come to terms with the months or years of wasted time in a job that failed to benefit them in any way other than monetarily, if that. As easy as it is to fall into this trap, there are sure-fire ways to ensure that you are prepared. Many of us are destined to learn the hard way, however these tips will make it so that you don’t have to.
Keep reading to find out the five tips that will help you find the right job…
- Consider your personality type
Every job requires a distinct combination of personality traits. If you are the methodical type, or simply curious, there are several career tests available to take for free online, that take all of these traits into consideration. Although, that is not the only way you can determine how your personality would suit prospective jobs and or careers.
Ask around to friends and family, and try your best to look introspectively. Analyse what you consider to be positive traits of yours, your weaknesses, as well as skills you are eager to develop further. Identify areas of growth in your personality and areas that you are otherwise happy with. Prioritise them and create boundaries, so you are aware of the lines you are willing to cross before you are asked to cross them. Then, working backwards from prospective opportunities, try to find similarities and differences between what the job requires from you and what you can bring to the table.
You may find that due to a lack of similarities, you have potentially made poor job choices… and perhaps it is an opportunity to identify that you may be more suited for other kinds of work that you’d previously failed to consider. As disheartening as this may be, it saves you the struggle of finding out your chosen career and personality are bound to clash in every fundamental way possible, only after you’ve set foot in the door. Similarly, you may find a potential job and your personality match up in several ways, however a key requirement of the job may be crossing a boundary of yours.
- Think career-wise, not job-wise
Especially when starting out, it can be far too easy to think short term. You jump around from job to job, possibly bored or never quite finding the right fit. You have always had a career in mind but have never understood how so many people seemed to just fall right into theirs.
Job-hopping can be a good way to broaden your skill set and keep you on your toes, however in terms of honing down a career and trying to specialise your skill set, work towards a clear goal and set up a lasting career, it can be a hindrance more than anything.
Force yourself to think in terms of your future career, instead of focusing so heavily on the job in front of you. Doing so will enable you to make better job choices much easier, and those choices will take you much further.
- Search for jobs via the culture as opposed to the position
Similarly to the first tip, it is important to consider all aspects of a fit for a job as opposed to just ‘When can I start?’ Perhaps, upon looking deeper into the company and the position available to you, you may decide that the way the company runs just isn’t for you.
Company culture is an integral part of not just how the business runs, but your overall job satisfaction. Everything from the people sitting around you, to how they are positioned around you can be a deal breaker for a new employee, especially one who was ill prepared regarding what to expect.
By evaluating the company and prospective position through culture first, you are easily able to eliminate the possibility of working in toxic and unproductive environments. Only after you have decided whether the culture fits you, should you begin to seriously consider submitting an application or even accepting an offer.
- Is there room for growth/promotion?
One of the biggest factors to consider when looking for the right job, and determining whether that job is indeed right for you, is prospective growth. Does the position you are applying for or are about to accept allow for growth? Is there a clear hierarchy in place or is the position relatively new and uncharted? Do current employees seem satisfied with their own prospects for growth?
These are just a few of the questions you should be asking when looking for the right job. Growth and promotion are highly important aspects of a job, especially for a first timer looking to build a career. If a job doesn’t provide these fundamental things than it is almost a guarantee that this job is not right for you.
- Negotiate from the beginning
Many first timers are terrified of the idea of negotiation, especially with a first job that they feel utterly privileged to have. However, the concept of negotiation will be important throughout your career, and thus it is imperative you make a habit of it from day one.
Even if the offer you are about to accept is out of desperation, even if this is the only offer you’ve received, you must be willing to negotiate. Negotiation not only shows you are serious and are to be taken seriously, it shows you understand from day dot the value you possess, and the attributes you will be providing to any potential position.
Employers unwilling to negotiate with you, whether it be salary, working hours etc. should be a red flag in determining whether a job is right for you. It is an immediate indication that they see their employees as possessing little value, and with no room for flexibility or communication from the get go, it is likely your future experiences dealing with them will only follow suit.