Finding a job that ideally suits you is a process of self-discovery. A fitting professional role should refine your strengths and give you room to grow and advance, while a suitable cultural fit should complement your lifestyle and resonate with your personality and your needs.
As a job hunter, it can be difficult to recognize potential fit from the interview process alone. Although you may have the chance to meet with several leaders and team members on multiple occasions, an interview can’t totally reveal what it might be like to work in a given environment.
That’s why your prep is key. Conducting a reflective and thorough search — thinking through what you want in a role and researching and outlining what you need from an employer — can help you find a job that truly suits you.
After all, you’re not looking to punch a clock, you’re looking for a job that fits your life. Here’s how to pursue it:
Examine your current role
Before you can decide what you’re looking for in a new role, clarify how you feel about your current position. Decide what’s working for you and identify where you crave change. Professional Development Coach Hana Ayoub of Hana Ayoub Coaching recommends this exercise:
“I like to look at an employee’s energy level to determine how aligned they are with their current role. It’s a key indicator to evaluating job fit. I ask my clients to move through a typical workweek and consider when and how often their role takes them from a baseline level of energy to invigoration. This can potentially illuminate a lack of intellectual stimulation or motivation for their current role. It also isolates the areas of the role where they are aligned, and they can potentially use that as a compass to lead the way for the upcoming job search.”
The direction in which your compass points might invite risk, which can feel stressful. But if your job has been making you feel vapid, then the prospect of taking a risk can be a refreshing thrill. This may signal that you are ready for higher stakes.
Ayoub writes: “If a big professional change crosses your mind, then it warrants exploration. Exploration simply means to tune into the dialogue with a sense of curiosity to understand it better and doesn’t bind you to take action. But give it the airtime as soon as you can, otherwise, it will return with more intensity and possibly frustration. A trend I see often in my coaching practice is the volume of wanting a career change only increases over time; it rarely reverses itself. It’s more healthy and efficient to approach a job change when it’s an early-stage consideration, and not when it feels overdue. In other words, the time is now.”
Use this momentum to explore what position and what companies look like they could suit you, and give you the opportunity to move into your next professional phase.
Identify benefits that yield fit for you
Benefits are not just add-ons or perks. They keep you healthy, comfortable and well-positioned to enact your best work. Interestingly, 57% of job seekers weigh benefits among their top considerations before accepting a new role.
You can learn a lot about them using Glassdoor. Not only will you find lists of benefits companies offer such as PTO, family leave, health and dental insurance, 401K information, and details about flexible arrangements such as telecommuting, you can also read employees’ feedback about the coverage.
Additionally, Glassdoor reviews offer a window into a professional culture: the leadership vibe, the professional pace and, generally, how it feels to be on staff there. You may also get a glimpse into the position you’re pursuing.
Another helpful feature-you can see how staff rate their CEO, which tells you a lot about the management.
Decide what benefits are most important to you, and weave those into you emerging professional goal.
Be an Informed Candidate
Every employer in the world wants to hire great people who stay productive and engaged. And every person wants to find a job they love. Unfortunately, great employees and a perfect job are difficult to find. However, being an informed candidate increases the likelihood of being hired.
An informed candidate is:
- Prepared for interview and asks pertinent questions
- Demonstrates right experience
- Knowledgeable about the job role
- Knowledgeable of the organization’s culture and values
- Prepared so that they have the right expectations about compensation and benefits
- Engaged in their job search
- Relevant as they present a customized resume or cover letter
- More thoughtful about where he/she works
Once you’ve done some soul searching and you know what position seems a good next step, what companies appeal to you and which benefits matter to you most, you can launch a targeted search.
Searching for a job is a multi-faceted project, and the end result has a significant impact on your life. So take your time, and do it right.
Ayoub writes: “Instead of thinking of finding the right job fit as a series of trials and error, I like to think of it as an evolving work in progress. The distinction here is to get in motion, reflect, and make strategic decisions to continue moving forward. There is no such thing as a misstep; all experience provides information to learn from in order to move forward. It’s important to shed the expectation of having a clear linear professional path, or that it’s a ‘one and done’ process. Instead, embrace the mindset of an evolving career as personal priorities and market needs within your industry change over time.”
Good luck! You got this!