10 Important Qualities to Look for in Your Next Employer
When you are thinking about changing careers or searching for a new job, you will be mainly focused on presenting yourself in the best light and ultimately winning a job offer. At interviews, your priority will be to impress the interviewer, effectively present your skills, knowledge and experience and win their approval.
But shouldn't we also consider in detail what WE want from your new employer? Have we compiled a shortlist of what a company must be able to offer before we accept a job offer? Are we clear on OUR needs, requirements, and values?
Of course, the salary will be high-up on your list of factors that will tempt you into a new role, but financial gains alone will not guarantee your long-term job satisfaction. Company culture, growth opportunities and ethics should also be a consideration.
Here are ten qualities that it would be wise to seek in your next employer.
The attitude, beliefs and leadership style of the upper management team will propagate and set the tone for the whole organization. Everything from communication, culture, direction to pace and nature of the work is impacted by the quality and demeaner of the leadership team. So it is important that you research and learn more about the individuals that make up the management team of your target company
The ethics of a company should be a significant consideration for people. The long-term satisfaction and fulfillment with your job will not be assured if the companies ethics and values do not align with yours. If you are passionate about animal welfare, for example, you may not want to work for a company that tests its products on animals. If you want to work for a company that makes a positive impact in people lives, you will be unhappy working for a tobacco company, regardless of what the pay and benefits are. Define your core values and beliefs and search for companies that are aligned with them.
A high salary and excellent benefits may not be enough compensation for you if you do not have any faith in what the company makes or sells. Your day to day work will feel forced and productivity will be at a minimum. It can be very soul-crushing working for a company that is selling sub-standard products, useless services or ripping off its customers. If you would be unwilling to recommend your employer's product or service to a friend or family member, then that may not be the right employer for you.
When you attend job interviews, remember that personality-fit must be a two-way thing. You should be assessing how comfortable you would be with the company culture as well as trying to impress the interviewer. Some companies are very dynamic and fast-paced. Other companies are more relaxed and laid back. Some companies have an open and honest communication culture. Others are closed and secretive when it comes to leadership. You will be spending a lot of time at work, so you must be happy, satisfied and a great fit with the culture of the new company.
- Training Opportunities
Regardless of your level of experience and expertise, there are always new things you can learn, so look for a job/company that encourages or offers training opportunities. Whether it is on-the-job training, external training courses, or self-education reimbursement, if the company provides ways for you to learn more and improve your skills, that demonstrates the company's long-term commitment to and investment in its employees. Make sure to ask about this in your interview or when you are researching the company.
- Advancement Opportunities
This could be a long-term position or it might be that you are only looking to gain experience and then move on to another job. But, in either case, you should be looking for opportunities to advance within the company that employs you. Having opportunities to grow with the company will help keep you motivated and growing. Being able to demonstrate a steady career progression not only looks good on your resumé but also enables you to seek bigger and better opportunities and make more money.
You may also want to consider how flexible a company is about when, where and how you work. If work-life balance is a must for you, it must be looked into and asked about before you apply to or accept a job offer. A modern, forward-thinking business will offer flexible working hours, good amount of personal time off and, where appropriate, the opportunity of working from home. Studies have shown over and over again that companies that offer more flexibility have happier and more productive employees.
Look for companies that ensure all their employees feel they are a valued part of the team. Every person who works for a business contributes to the success of the company, so your contribution should be valued and acknowledged. You should be kept in the loop on what is happening, where the company is going and what role you play in that movement. Companies that value employee engagement and include them in the decision making process, keep their employees well-informed, and they encourage people to communicate their ideas and grow within the business.
Facing challenges is how you learn and grow, so look for a job where there are opportunities to expand your knowledge, grow your skills and move forward. You will quickly grow bored, uninterested and disengaged if your job does not provide you with a healthy amount of difficulties and challenges. Look for a company that will encourage you to take on new challenges and support your efforts to move up the career ladder.
- Transferable Skills
Few people now stay with the same company for their entire career, so you should be looking for a job that will teach you skills that you can use in other companies, fields or job functions as well. Good employers value ambition, growth and advancement. So, they will not be afraid to help you enhance your knowledge and develop skills outside your immediate responsibilities.
There are lots of factors to consider when you are looking for a good employer and ultimate job satisfaction. The crucial thing is to know your requirements and then be strategic, patient and persistent in order to find a company that you will feel comfortable working for. Your next job should set you up for true fulfillment and long term career success and advancement. I wish you the best with your job search and career development.
By Rafael Tomik, Career Transition Coach at BeGreat.com
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