Searching for a new job is no easy feat. Whether you’re tackling the corporate world or you recently graduated from college, landing a job can be a stressful endeavor.
The future is uncertain, and not knowing if a job will pay off is an intimidating feeling. So, what can you do to make sure you have as many opportunities to grow professionally with a company?
Here are five factors to determining if a career move provides professional growth opportunities and encourages your advancement in the workplace:
1. Cost of living.
Often, landing a new job or being promoted requires you to move to a new city. One of the most important things to determine first is if you are willing to relocate for work. Whether the move is 10 miles, 100 miles, or 1,000 miles, determine if moving to an unfamiliar area, away from friends and family, can work for you.
Depending on the industry, make sure the salary offered would measure up to how much it would cost to live there. Glassdoor’s salary reviews is a great tool to utilize when comparing expenses in the new location to maintain your current standard of living.
Work-life balance may not be as sought-after for some as it is for others, but it’s important to figure out that working, let’s say, 50 hours per week isn’t for you — before moving your life across the country.
2. Research, research, research.
When looking for employment, it’s important to do your homework on the company. Understanding company culture is crucial when determining what type of values employers are looking for in employees. In fact, two-thirds of HR managers in Office Team’s March 2015 Survey cited cultural fit as a reason for losing employees.
A basic Google search isn’t always going to give you the answers you need. Read Glassdoor company reviews, and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask employers about available promotions. Is there growth potential in other departments? Is there a website where I can find the company’s employee benefits and growth opportunities? As you start to narrow down your job search, these are important questions to address before logging in hours of research.
3. Develop a plan.
It’s best to understand your strengths, weaknesses, personal goals and passions in order to move forward in the job search process. Usually when making any major decision in life, we create a plan of action. The same tactic applies to your career.
Create a plan that will outline and identify the goals you would like to achieve. Writing everything down is a great way to organize your thoughts, and in return, the plan will give you the framework needed to make a successful career move.
When devising your plan of action, consider the following:
- strengths you can highlight for potential employers
- weaknesses you can improve upon
- what you have been successful at accomplishing and how it relates to your career
4. Utilize your network.
By now, you’ve spent some time networking with people who have experienced both successes and challenges in the workplace. Utilize those connections you’ve worked so hard to create by asking for advice. If you’re new to the workforce, having a mentor will help navigate you to a company that fits your career goals.
Make sure you ask someone you can trust, who will listen, and who has experienced similar career moves. Asking for advice can help you feel less lost when weighing career growth opportunities.
5. Have no fear.
Some of the best opportunities in life are going to scare you and that’s okay. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you from seizing a career opportunity. Accept the challenge with open arms and don’t be afraid to fail.
No matter where your career takes you, it’s important to determine if there are any opportunities to grow professionally when you get there. Decide what works best for you and if the company will be able to compensate.
What do you look for when deciding if opportunities for growth are available in your career?