You have probably heard the saying “Find a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
If only it were that easy. These days finding a job you love is not enough. Take Pudsey for instance, he is passionate about coding and recently got a job at a software company. It is something he loves, and no doubt, it pays well too. But, he is uncomfortable with the company culture and is beginning to feel mistreated by his boss. Unfortunately, he must work every day of his ‘life’, trying to be happy.
According to Liz Ryan, renowned Recruitment expert and Forbes author, finding your dream job entails covering more than just the actual job itself. “You can learn a lot about the company’s culture by studying your interaction with them,” she says.
Choosing a job simply because it pays well has hurt many people and continues to happen today. In the long-term, you could pay for it with your health, both mentally or physically.
- It is about the people
True, you must make sure it is something you enjoy doing. But that is not where it stops. After confirming the role and position are a fit, look towards the people. What kind of staff do they have? Are they generally happy people or antagonistic? Do they call each other by name?
Knowing your prospective co-workers is an important aspect of the job hunt. The relationship with people around you can affect your productivity even if you are a superstar. Ensure the employees are people you can work comfortably with. If possible, meet up with a few staff outside work and have a chat.
- How is the company culture?
Are you satisfied with the corporate culture? Are staff (including the youngest intern) allowed to make contributions or is there a draconian atmosphere? If the company is so driven by profit, that it hardly has time for off-work team building activities, then it might not be the place for you.
Training is also important. If the company invests in regular training workshops or communication exercises then it is a good sign. Beware of organisations that make you work at your desk even when you are sick. Remember, you will be easily replaced if you drop dead. Are pets allowed? Liz wrote an interesting article about recognising toxic workplaces.
- How is your workspace?
Did you know the environment you work in can determine your performance? It is not surprising to see some companies spend top dollar on the ambience of their workspace. From advertising firms to tech startups, the list is long. Unfortunately, some companies didn’t get the memo.
You could find yourself cramped between the kitchen or facing the bathroom. In worse situations, people have been dumped in the basement. Not El dorado eh? Ask for a short tour of the company or a glimpse of your work area before deciding.
There are other determinants such as insurance, gym membership, pension plan, and so on. But the key aspects are your job fit, co-workers and company culture. You can always negotiate the rest into your salary. Make sure it is commensurate with your level of expertise.