You could settle for the first job that comes along. But you’ll be happier and more successful if you make an effort to find the job that’s right for you.
There is no better feeling than picking up the phone and hearing the two words you’ve worked so hard to hear: “You’re hired!” But for some jobseekers, the hiring afterglow quickly fades when they discover they’ve landed a job that really isn’t a good fit for their personality, job skills or career goals.
Although the financial realities of unemployment create pressure to find a job as quickly as possible, you’ll be farther ahead in the long run if you can hold out just a little longer, for a position that is a reasonably good match with your unique background and personal objectives.
While you search for the right job, keep in mind that the chances of finding an absolutely perfect position are slim, especially in today’s job market. So the idea is to accurately assess each opportunity and prioritize your personal requirements, with the goal of narrowing your search to the openings that are most likely to deliver on-the-job satisfaction and long-term success.
Evaluate the job description
Employers publicize job descriptions to help jobseekers determine the scope and nature of the position. It’s appropriate to scan job descriptions to make sure you are qualified to do the job. But at the same time, you should be asking yourself whether or not you could actually envision yourself doing this job for this employer. If not, don’t waste your time – move on to other job openings that are more suited to your preferences and requirements.
Ask about turnover
Savvy employers know that the hiring process is a two-way street. As the employer is evaluating your qualifications, they expect job candidates to evaluate them. At some point during the interview process (but probably not at the first interview), ask the employer about turnover. How long did the last person who held the position work for the company? Do people tend to work for the employer for years? Or have they been experiencing high turnover rates? If turnover is a problem, it could be an indication that the work climate isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Talk to current and/or former employees
If possible, talk to current or former employees to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the workplace. Most employees are willing to give potential hires a candid assessment of their employer, providing valuable information about the company culture, workplace expectations and the employer’s prospects in the marketplace.
Be honest with yourself
The most important thing you can do during a job search is to be honest with yourself. Even though you may be desperate to find work, accepting the wrong position from the wrong employer is the fast track to making a bad situation worse. If your gut tells you that the position isn’t right for you, trust your instincts and keep searching for a job that’s a better fit.