Finding the right job is a lot like dating. You might not really know a person until you start living with them. The first few months, they present as polite, hygienic and shiny as they can. The next thing you know, they’re on the couch scarfing down mac and cheese wearing a bleach stained t-shirt.
Everything and everyone have negative qualities. You just have to make sure the flaws are ones you find cute and quirky (or at least willing to deal with).
A 40-hour a week job is a third of your time. Which is probably actually more time than you spend with a partner.
Make it count. Don’t settle.
Think of being a “good fit” quite literally. If you try to shape-shift your body into a position that doesn’t work, you’re going to end up contorted, uncomfortable and trapped.
It all comes down to knowing your needs, paying attention to detail during the interview, and asking the right questions.
Here are four ways to identify a “good fit”:
1. Your values align with company values
What exactly does this company do?
Company values are a set of core beliefs that govern the company’s behavior. They’re more than just a mission statement on the homepage of their website. This is what shapes the culture of the work environment including diversity, environmental responsibility, or personal accountability.
If you don’t align with company values, there’s a large chance you’ll eventually feel like you don't belong or your job lacks meaning.
Question to ask the interviewer: “How has the company acted on their core values this past year?”
2. You can visualize yourself in the job description
Really sit and think, “Is this something that I would want to do every day?”
Every job has tedious tasks that you’d rather not do. But, is the majority of the job description something you can see yourself enjoying?
When you’re desperate to leave the job you’re in, this is easy to look over because anything looks better than what you’re doing now. Keep in mind, though, that eventually this position will become routine too.
Question to ask the interviewer: “Can you walk me through a typical day in this position?
3. You identify with the culture of the workplace
When you’re at the interview, take a walk around the office and see if you have the opportunity to talk with some of the employees.
If this isn’t available to you, ask questions that are important to the way you prefer to work, like, if there’s flexibility to work from home or if people generally work in a team or individually, etc.
Question to ask the interviewer: “What is the overall work style of the office?”
4. You like the management style
Company workplace culture is largely a result of management style.
Job satisfaction is significantly lowered when employees don’t trust management or disagree with the way management solves problems.
You also know yourself. If you’re a self-starter who prefers autonomy and the management style is too directive, you’ll feel suffocated. If you prefer assigned roles with regular feedback and management is too flexible, you’ll feel overwhelmed.
Have a discussion about your management needs and see if they’re willing to work with you the way you work to your highest potential.
Question to ask the interviewer: “What is important to you as a manager?”
Remember that you’re interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing you. Take some time to write out lists of what is important to you in each one of these categories and you’ll find a good fit!