I need help researching employers! I feel I have been going into jobs and then discovering its not the right “fit” for me. I am tired of job hopping and just want to settle into a job and stay there for awhile. What am I doing wrong?
Still searching in Scarborough
Dear Still Searching;
That does sound like a dilemma. For many years, job seekers, like daters, have gone with the philosophy, if they “like me”, that’s good enough. If I am looking at a resume and see an inordinate number of short-term jobs, I wonder…Were these short-term contracts? Or were these positions that either the job seeker or the employer discovered it wasn’t working out. If the answer is the second, its often a result of poor prior research. If a person isn’t working in the environment that’s good for them, either they or the employer may make the decision to terminate the employment. Good employers understand the value of a happy employee.
Prior to the internet it wasn’t that easy to research prospective employers. Job seekers would be encouraged to visit the work site before the interview, assess the company culture and gather information. We would also encourage a visit to the library to look up the company and check out the microfiche (remember microfiche?). But now with the magic of the internet researching a company has become so much simpler and faster. However, prior to doing your company research you should ask yourself questions such as.
What do I value in a job? Depending on your age, where you are in your career and family responsibilities those factors can vary. I know, having lived in Toronto, accessibility and time commuting have often factored into job satisfaction. There are also considerations such as security, employer expectations, opportunity to be flexible, opportunity to advance. Sometimes, taking the job you know you will love, even if it pays a little less (within reason), can mean more time and money. Write down your core list of “needs” and “wants”.
Is this the company culture I want to work within? I still recommend an in-person reconnaissance mission if possible. What is the dress code? Do the staff appear to be happy? What is my gut instinct? Check out their website and especially the mission statement. Is their mission statement in line with your core values?
Check out websites such as LinkedIn, glassdoor.com and Indeed.com. These sites have dedicated company research pages along with valuable reviews from previous employees. Take these reviews with a critical eye but if you see a common thread take that seriously. Check the dates on the reviews. Have they improved or is there no change? These sites will also advise on factors such as life/work balance, benefits, bonus or reward options. Finally, check out their social media pages which will supply insight on company culture, values and diversity. .
We value your opinion. Please let us know what you think about this column. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.