You will change jobs. It’ll happen. The days of staying at a company from graduation until the gold watch & pension at retirement are over. So when you are looking for your new opportunity, how do you know what is the right fit for you?
When you are presented with an opportunity to interview, do your homework. Check out the company’s reviews on-line. What do they say on social media? On LinkedIn, how long do their employees typically stay with them? Do people seem to enjoy it there?
So, the company you are interested in has a bad review or even several. That doesn’t mean you should no longer consider them. What’s not a fit for someone else might be the dream job for you, but you need to find out for yourself. Go to the interview and see inside the company. Do people look happy to be there, or like they just came back from a funeral? There are always going to be bad reviews, so if a company you are interested in has a bad review, ask about it. A great company will let you know the cons as well as the pros of working there. The ideal situation? Being able to speak to the members of the team candidly and without the presence of their supervisor gives those employees the freedom to speak their mind and also shows a high level of trust in the team members.
If you can’t visit directly with your potential peers, tap your LinkedIn network to see of you know or can be introduce to people who have worked at that company in the past, to get their insight. At the same time, understand companies, like people, go through huge changes. Companies you may want to work for today may not have always have had the current mega attractive culture and vice versa. Understand that periods of management change can be really tough for the people working in that group, but may have had a terrific impact on the company as a whole. So while someone who worked for a company during a huge software changeover may have hated the learning curve, mandatory overtime and training classes, you walking in the door today reap the benefits of all that hard work they put in to improve.
If you are working with a recruiter, a great one will know the history of the company. That recruiter will be able to tell you the history of the company, where they have been in their culture and growth as well as where they are going and the plans for the future. An excellent recruiter will be able to help you lay the opportunity out on paper and determine what you love, what you don’t like and see if there are any deal breakers that may have been lurking out of your sight.
Ultimately, if you want to make sure you accept the right opportunity for you, you have to do your homework. If you were being set up on a blind date, you’d probably Google the person, right? Just like relationships, it’s unwise to marry someone you just met, so make sure and get the opportunity to “date” your new potential company before you sign that offer letter!!!
Written by: Dixie Agostino
Great article! When we talk about culture, some people say, 'They have coffee machines, and we have lunch brought in every day and we get to go to Tigers games! Our culture is awesome!'.
I have to go back and say, coffee machines, company paid lunches and baseball tickets are not culture. CULTURE is that you are only allowed ONE coffee drink per day, you are NOT allowed to leave for lunch or they doc your pay (so they bring in Subway), and your attendance is REQUIRED at Tigers' games but spouses aren't allowed to come.'. THAT is culture. The other things are perks.
Knowing the difference is KEY for all three parties: recruiters, candidates and companies.