Looking for your first job?
Make sure you find the right employer
The end of your school days, the start of your professional life. In the coming weeks and months, you will spend most of your time reading job postings and going to interviews. Whatever you do, always remember that you are at the wheel of your career. You do not have to accept the first job that comes your way. Think about what you find important and ask the right questions to ensure that the company culture corresponds with your personal needs and values.
Research shows that we spend about a third of our lives at work or working from home. So, imagine how difficult that can be when you are not happy at work. Just as an organization is always looking for the right person for a job, you should also make sure that you feel a genuine connection to the company or brand you are working for. For graduates who do not have experience with previous employers, this is easier said than done …
Fortunately, the following tips can help you determine if a job is right for you or if you are better off swiping left and continuing your search.
1. Do your research
As a student, you probably did a lot of research for essays and presentations. You should do the same before applying for a job. Instead of just entering the company’s name in Google and checking out their website, take your time to really get to know your potential employer. Visit the LinkedIn page of the organization to read reviews from employees and/or customers. Try to find out how long most people have been working for the company …
Social media give a good idea of how people view the company and whether its mission and values are aligned with what you are looking for in an employer. If you then feel there is a match and decide to give it a try, your extensive research will make sure you are well prepared for the interview.
2. Ask the right questions
Each job interview should be a two-way conversation. Instead of just answering questions about yourself, ask for more information about the company. Especially new generations of employees find the ecological aspect very important. Most organizations like to brag about their green initiatives, but what are they really doing for the environment? Or if they claim to be gender neutral, ask how many women are currently in leadership positions. Do not be afraid to inquire about this if you think it is important. The right employer will get a positive impression if a candidate knows what he/she wants.
3. Check the work-life balance
Perhaps you expect to work from home at least one or two days a week? If so, then feel free to ask questions about this during your interview. Finding a good balance between work and private life has been one of the most important topics of conversation for organizations in recent years. Especially with the COVID-19 crisis, people have experienced the benefits of remote working.
Most modern companies have developed policies that specify when people can come to the office and which tasks they can perform from home. Fortunately, many employers understand the benefits of flexible work arrangements. They also know that young talents like you have high expectations, so do not settle for a job unless you feel the work-life balance is right.
4. Ask about skill development and growth opportunities
Nowadays, no one performs exactly the same job for ten or twenty years. People want to discover new horizons, either within their current company of with a different employer. Your graduation is just the beginning of a lifelong learning journey during which you will constantly develop new skills. The World Economic Forum expects that 50% of employees will need to be retrained by 2025. So, make sure that your future employer’s company culture supports personal development.
Ask a potential employer about a development plan and how much time you can invest in training skills. Also check out the growth opportunities that are available to you in the company. Knowing your potential development roadmap within an organization is key to deciding if you have found a job that is future-proof.
5. Identify a realistic compensation package
Finally, you want to receive a fair compensation for your valuable work. Salary is not just about the money on your bank account, but also includes different types of compensation and benefits. Many organizations offer a flexible package of options that employees can choose based on their personal situation. Think of a company bike, an electric car, a better pc or smartphone, additional healthcare, or even extra vacation days.
Be prepared for questions about what you expect to receive as compensation. If you have trouble coming up with numbers, talk to people you know or who work in your industry.
Need some help?
You are in the lead of your career, but that does not mean that you are all alone. CHRLY helps you to launch your professional life and find the right employer. We are constantly seeking motivated and young starters. Be sure to visit our website and get in touch!