Switching jobs has become an extreme sport for many of us. We send out tons of resumes, we have become interview pros and do not consider ourselves as employees but more like participants, associates of the company we (work for) join forces with.
We all want the best job with supreme working conditions, the ideal manager and, of course, the top salary. But beyond what you see, there is a huge forest of unknown details. This is why you need to dig a little deeper before accepting the perfect job.
So besides the usual questions such as “is my schedule flexbile?” or “do we get paid for overtime here?”, I’ve outlined 3 interesting questions you need to find answers to before accepting a new job.
What is the financial situation of my future employer?
In these rough economic times, you certainly don’t want to change job for an employer that may lay you off in the next 12 months. You need to make sure that the company is growing not only to keep your job but also to make sure you have nice working conditions, a good ambience and promotion opportunities if you are game.
How can you find out if your new employer is going to go bankrupt?
I’d say that the best way is to look at the financials of the business if it’s a public company. If not, you can always ask in your interview how many people they have hired in the past 12 months, what is their growth during the past 3 years, what are their mid and long term objectives. You will not only find answers to your questions but you will also demonstrate more interest in your future employer than most candidates ;-).
What is the culture of my future employer?
These days, we read more and more literature about the perfect fit between an employee and his employer. One of the best ways to succeed in a company is too pick one that you feel good working for. This is why it is important that your values are in line with those of your employer. If you have fun while at work, you will be more productive and happy in your life, right?
You can ask about the importance of the work environment, what the turnover rate is, if they have an active social committee with regular activities, what are their thoughts about flexible schedule, what is their definition of teamwork, etc. You can ultimately ask to speak with an employee to get their feelings about the firm. This could be one of your best leads to know what is really going on inside the “black box”.
Is the job description accurate?
Man, oh man, if you apply for a “customer relationship director” position, you certainly don’t want to be standing all day with a pad doing marketing surveys in a strip mall. You want to make sure that what you have read about is really what you are going to do.
Sometimes it’s pure bad faith, but some other times it’s only a question of perception. Big firms have Human Resources and Communication specialists writing their job offerings and they often use very nice, attractive words for a simple task.
By asking more about the day-to-day tasks involved in the job or what are the down sides of it, you will find out more about the true nature of your new position ;-). One more piece of advice; don’t be fooled by the job title!
Final Thoughts About Finding The Right Job
I think that having a thorough conversation with your manager before starting could be the best career move you can make. If you don’t get along at first, it won’t get any better over time ;-).