How to Navigate the Job Market
Looking for a job can be a daunting experience. While it may feel overwhelming at times, there are many opportunities for growth and personal development along the way. Taking the time to understand yourself and your goals can help you as you progress your career and make decisions about where you want to work next. From knowing your dealbreakers to aligning yourself with environments that match your values, asking the right questions and having a clear strategy can alleviate the stress of the job search and help you navigate the job market.
Beginning the process
Before you even begin the interview process, always perform background research. Preparation is key to an efficient interview. Use your available resources to learn as much as you can about the job you are applying for and the company you are interviewing with. If there are any questions you cannot find answers to in your research, bring them up during the interview. It is always smart to have questions when you are interviewing – it not only shows your enthusiasm for the role, but also allows you an opportunity to gain insight into the opportunity you are applying for.
Questions to consider
No job is the same and every interview will be different, but regardless of the role you are applying for it is important to consider the questions and factors that are important to you. If you are not sure where to start, try beginning with the logistical questions:
- What is the work/life balance?
- What is the schedule like? Is it remote or in person? Which environment is best for you?
- Will you be expected to work outside of your scheduled hours?
- What is the commute like? Is this comfortable for you?
- What are your salary expectations?
Of these logistical questions, determine which factors are dealbreakers for you and which factors you are more flexible on. Be realistic about your needs and know what is important to you. Make sure your values align with the role's expectations – you will perform best in a role you are happy with. Never force a job or sacrifice your values for an opportunity.
While salary, schedule, and daily tasks are major components of a job, one of the biggest pieces is the organization's culture. For many people, salary is less important than cultural fit. As you interview and interact with members of the team, assess your comfortability with them and how you think you might have a good relationship with one another. You do not have to be best friends with your coworkers, but getting along with them and having some shared interests or values can contribute to your overall experience in a job. As recruiters, we often ask:
- Would this candidate have a good relationship with this team?
- Could I picture these individuals being friends?
- Would this candidate mesh with the company culture and values?
- Does this candidate’s work style fit into the pace of this environment?
- Are there any shared traits, values, or characteristics with this candidate and the team they are interviewing with?
Other factors to consider
Along with the job's environment and the community culture, there are other aspects of a job that you may need to assess before accepting an offer. During the interviews, try to understand management strategies and norms. Would you be comfortable going to this management team with a question or concern? For both the employer and the employee, honest communication is always important. Try to get a sense of the level of transparency in this environment and determine if this is a workplace where you feel comfortable being transparent and open with your colleagues. As you learn more about the role and environment, consider what the daily workload looks like. Are you going to be excited about going to work every day? The best career matches happen when there is a sense of longevity within a role. Assess your personal career goals and make sure that the opportunity aligns with where you are at in your journey. Consider factors such as your skillset development, your industry experience, your day-to-day responsibilities, and your level of passion for this job While there are many elements to a job, asking these questions and exploring your goals and desires can help you foresee if you’ll align with the new opportunity.
Career Group is dedicated to making perfect career matches and placing candidates in roles that they will love. For over 40 years, we have refined our expertise across industries allowing us to make the best placements for both our candidates and our clients. With a hands-on approach, we are ready to help you land that dream job. Head to our LinkedIn or our website to start your search today.