In the end, all that you have is the experience you get. When you go to work for a company, you are putting your career capital to work. You must understand how the company is going to increase the value of your investment.
A long time ago, people didn’t have to think about this as much. The company was a place where you could work for thirty or forty years. All the while, you could imagine what you would do with your pension during retirement.
That was your grandparent’s world. And, truth be told, it wasn’t like that for most of them either. Pension funds had a magic tendency to disappear or get eroded by inflation.
Your destiny is in your hands. If you are going to take a job make sure that you understand what experience you will get and exactly how you will benefit. Insist that the company make a commitment to your development. Don’t work for a company that isn’t ready to understand and invest in your future.
Today, your next job is likely to last about three years. Your retirement fund will contain exactly what you put into it. You don’t have the ability to subsidize an operation that isn’t helping you build your value.
Here are some questions to ask the company during an interview:
- How will my personal development impact my growth at the company?
- What support will I get for continuing my education? Is there a tuition reimbursement program? Can I take courses on company time?
- What are the internal training programs? How many internal courses will I take? What skills will I learn?
- How will we work to ensure that I remain challenged? [Challenge is the key to lifelong learning.]
- Is there a job rotation program? How do I qualify?
- How will this help me reach my dream?
Stay tuned next week for the second part of ‘How to Interview a Company’