Whether you have been in the engineering field for one year or twenty years, there will probably come a time when you decide to apply for a job with another company. Before applying for jobs with other potential employers, it is important to research each company thoroughly. Conducting company research can help you find information on an engineering firm's reputation and stability, making it an important first step in determining where you want to work. Taking the time to do this research can save you from applying for jobs at engineering firms in danger of going out of business and help you avoid accepting a job with a company known for a negative work environment.
The Internet is one of the best tools to use when conducting company research, as it gives you access to the websites of the Better Business Bureau, local chambers of commerce, and other organizations that provide information about businesses in your area. Use these websites to find out if employees or clients of a particular engineering firm have filed complaints. If you find a complaint on file, do not discount the firm as a potential employer just yet. If the complaint seems minor, and the Better Business Bureau indicates it has been resolved, it's probably not an issue. If the complaint alleges illegal activity or shoddy work, on the other hand, you should hesitate to apply for a job with the firm.
Search engines and business review sites are also good sources of information if you need to research an engineering firm before applying for jobs. For example, Nexxt allows employees to post reviews of their employers, and you can use search engines to search for each engineering firm's name plus the words "scam" or "complaints." Again, one complaint does not mean the firm is a bad place to work, especially if there are dozens of positive reviews about the company. It is more important to consider all of the available information and use it to decide whether applying for jobs with a particular firm is a good idea.
Before applying for jobs with local engineering firms, you should also talk to current employees of each firm. An employee can provide insight about a firm's organizational culture, work environment, and compensation policies, so you will have more information to consider when deciding where to apply for a job. If you do not have a strong network of contacts in the engineering field, join industry-specific LinkedIn groups or look for engineering networking groups in your neighborhood. Hannah Morgan of U.S. News & World Report also recommends inviting some of your online contacts to have coffee so you can develop closer relationships. Building these relationships before applying for jobs can help you get to know people in the engineering field well enough to ask them about their employers.
If you are ready to work for a different engineering firm, protect yourself by researching each potential employer ahead of time. Search engines, current employees, business review sites, and the Better Business Bureau are all good sources of information about firms in your area. If you are willing to research each potential employer before applying for jobs, you'll have a better chance of finding a job you will want to keep for a long period of time.
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