Find a job you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life. Yeah right!
If you want that paycheck at the end of the month you'll have to work your ass off you can count on that! Sure, it's nice to land a job of your dreams, but there aren't many opening for professional ice cream testers or exotic island caretakers. So, you'd better find the one with a great culture that would encourage your professional and personal development.
It's much easier when you come to terms with the fact that a cold faceless corporation is what helps most of us mortals buy the latest iPhone. As well as put food on the table and all the fancy clothes in the wardrobe.
What's Your Thing?
You need to do a little soul-searching here because it's important to try and figure out what your passion is and what you expect from your career. You don't want to be stuck in a workaholic environment, surrounded by hustlers who work 10+ hours a day and spend their weekends on LinkedIn, rambling about their accomplishments, goals, yadda yadda yadda.
Not that there's something wrong with that, but if you're not into that kind of lifestyle, it can soon turn into an unpleasant work experience. Also, if being chained to your desk working from 9 to 5 is not your idea or a cool job, you should look for companies that offer flexible time and telecommuting options.
A Friend in Need
A Gallup survey has revealed that women who say they have a best friend at work are more than twice likely to be engaged than those who say they don't. People spend approximately one-third of their adult life at work. In other words, you'll get to hang out with your co-workers somewhere between 8-10 hours a day, which is more than with your friends and significant others. So, it's important that your workmates are fun to be around, and that you share similar values and beliefs.
Read Between the Lines
The job description usually speaks volumes about what the prospective company will expect from you. Pay attention to becoming and using particular phrases such as "works well under pressure," "independent thinker," or "capable of handling tight deadlines" as they describe specific character traits that the management favours.
If you wouldn't describe yourself using any of these phrases, then you shouldn't apply for that job, because, these aren't just the empty words, and you'll most likely be expected to grind, multitask, and finish your projects within a short time frame.
Do Some Stalking Research
You know, like scrolling through your ex's Insta pics (unless they unfollowed you), but significantly less creepy and pathetic.
You can bet that all companies run a background check on their applicants, so why wouldn't you do the same? Luckily, there are numerous resources, and your first stop should be the company's website. There you can read more about its mission, vision, and core values.
You should also take into account how likely this company will be around in the coming years as well. While small businesses need to rely on their owners for a lot of things, the truth is that the owner can quickly lead to a bad working environment. The way to screen for this is to see if the CEO is involved in your interview, on social media, in the company newsletter, etc. If it seems one person is tasked with too much, that might be the company standard.
Social media channels can also tell you a great deal about the company's culture. You can grasp it from the way its employees communicate well as the way the company interacts with its customers. Is the tone stuffy, laid-back, or generic? Are there any pics from team building activities, office parties, or casual Fridays? Or is it just work and responsibilities?
Finally, as the image that a company tries to create about itself might be just make-believe, you should check out what its existing and former employees say about it anonymously on Glassdoor. This site also features reviews, as well as the pros and cons or working for a particular company.
Of course, always bear in mind that a particularly bad review may come from an unhappy former employee who's holding a grudge against their former boss, but an issue that's consistently brought up in different reviews is always a bad sign.
Ask the Right Questions
Once you land an interview with your potential employer, don't hesitate to ask them everything you want to know. Avoid closed-ended questions which result only in yes or no answers, and go for those which can evolve into a discussion.
Some of the questions that can help you get to the bottom or whether the company is the right fit include:
- What do you love most about your job and this company?
- Is there something that you don't like about it?
- Can you tell me more about a typical day at the office?
- What would be my day-to-day responsibilities?
- Are there any team building activities?
- Who would I be working closely with and is it possible to get in touch with that person?
- What are the most important qualities for filling this role and excelling in it?
- How do I stack up against other candidates for the job?
By asking these questions, you can unearth the information that's not in the job description and have a sneak peek at how it is to work for this particular company.
We're all more than interested to learn about all the perks and benefits, but a job interview isn't exactly the right moment to ask “Are there free snacks?” Or “Is there a free gym membership?” And it's a good idea to save these questions for later in the process.
OK, after you cry for a while about the fact that it's very unlikely that you'll become the youngest "self-made" billionaire like Kylie Jenner, and that you'll actually have to work, you'd better man up, read these tips, and find a job that won't make you feel miserable.
Rebecca is a translator by day and a traveller mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag - and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft .
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