Finding work that’s meaningful to you has important benefits: a job that's the right fit results in increased job satisfaction and better performance. It also contributes to your overall happiness in life.
However, securing such a job isn’t always easy and it takes time. Understandably, many jobseekers are under pressure to accept jobs that don’t match their career goals or values out of financial necessity to find employment. In other cases, jobseekers are simply unsure of how to find employers and positions that make the most of their strengths and passions.
Opportunities to find the right fit start before your job search and happen along the way until you get the offer you really want.
Before beginning your job search
First, be confident that you can and will find a position at a company that suits you. With this in mind, the next step is developing your self-awareness. Finding the right job is about knowing who you are and what you want to do.
If you are uncertain about your career direction, use online career assessment tools to explore the types of careers that offer the kind of work you would enjoy. One such tool is the WorkBC Career Compass.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- What are the values and beliefs that guide my life?
- What work environment do I work best in?
- Do I want to work with a team or independently?
- What management style do I prefer?
- Do I want work that is challenging?
- What geographical location do I want to work in, and how far am I willing to travel to work?
Also, consider what you don’t want in a job. Think about previous work experiences you didn't enjoy or weren't the right fit, and ask yourself why the positions didn't work out. Learn from your experiences and determine what factors in a job are important to you going forward.
Before you apply
When you find a position that looks promising, research the company before you apply. Visit its website and social media channels to get a feel for the workplace culture. Companies may have a mission statement on their website. Do their values fit yours? Check out glassdoor.com for reviews of the company or organization from its employees.
If you personally know someone who works for the company, ask them about the workplace culture and company values. You can also organize an informational interview and visit the workplace to experience the atmosphere firsthand.
At the interview
For some jobseekers, it is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be selected for the position and trying to impress the interviewer by giving answers that don't reflect who you truly are. Be yourself in the interview. If you feel the job is a great fit for you, your passion and desire for the position will naturally show.
Just as the employer is trying to determine if you are the best fit, the interview is also an opportunity for you to interview your future manager or supervisor. Too often, jobseekers hastily accept a position and later regret their decision when they learn more about the environment or culture of their workplace.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to ask questions in the interview. For example, if you have concerns about the type of leadership, inquire about the managerial style and, if possible, organize to meet the manager or supervisor. Listen to your gut: How did you feel in the interview?
Before accepting a job offer:
Revisit your criteria for a "right fit" and consider whether or not the position meets them. Consider factors such as salary and benefits, workplace culture, commute time and distance and whether or not you will be challenged by the position.
Your financial situation may be such that you may knowingly agree to work a position that isn’t the best fit, but I encourage you to continue pursuing work that is meaningful and rewarding. Continue to search for a fit and eventually you will find it.
Tina Hurd is a career advisor at the Westside WorkBC.