Finding “The One”: Valentine’s Day is upon us and love is in the air; a great reminder to make sure you find a career you love!Leave a comment
February 7, 2014 by texasbbacareerservices
Are you two heading in the same direction in life?
Life happens, but it doesn’t happen just right now. Instead of having the “I have to get a job no matter what!” mentality, try to switch gears and look into the future. That is, your future with or without that company. It helps to have a general idea of where you (and not anyone else, including a recruiter) want to be ten years from now, maybe even twenty, and make your current plans around those aspirations. It’s always easier to plan early than to try to “make it work” a couple years down the road. Be sure to ask recruiters and employees about career paths available for university graduates and see if your path is the same. Oh, and one more tip! If you’d like to work abroad, make sure that the company is international in scope or plans on expanding into foreign countries in the future.
How much do y’all have in common with one another?
Check out our Company Research Tips/Resources and our Company Research Guide. Long-term compatibility is what makes or breaks a great relationship. Companies look for potential hires with the right skills (or ability to learn) that they need to do better business. You should ask yourself if you have the skillset that would justify them hiring you for the job. If the answer is no, don’t worry! McCombs has many resources available to students, including Lynda and various technical workshops throughout the year. One of the best ways to market yourself to companies is to acquire soft skills desired for any position. Also, if you’re looking for a position where you’ll be getting face-to-face time with clients, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to get stuck inside a cubicle all day. But hey, at least you’ll become best friends with your computer monitor, and from what I’ve heard, they stay loyal for life! (Or at least 4 years down the road until they break down. Whichever comes first.)
Does the inside match the outside?
Just like you’d probably want to go on a couple of dates before you commit to someone, try to go to as many networking events as possible to meet recruiters and employees. We always highly recommend going on company field trips to get the inside scoop on company culture. You get to meet the employees first hand and hear some of their experiences without the recruiting haze hiding any of the better (or worse) parts of working for that company. Take note of how satisfied the employees are with their work environment and work/life balance. In other words, do they look happy or grumpy most of the time? This would also be a good time to check if the company’s culture matches the description you heard during last night’s networking event. The worst thing is to get caught off-guard with the wrong expectations on your first day of working there. Apply to our Career Shadowing Program, stay in tune with our Event Calendar, and check OCR for Info Sessions!
Could you two spend 40+ hours together each week?
Relationships take a huge amount of commitment. But just how much commitment are we talking about? Just picture that you’ll be spending more of your waking moments with your co-workers and boss(es) than your family and friends. How will you schedule your personal life around work? Does the company culture seem fun enough and the co-workers enjoyable enough that you’d be happy putting in your eight hours a day? Do you like cubicles or do you want to be in contact with people all throughout the day? That’s some food for thought!
Think about the relationships that you two have with others.
The way we treat people we know is very telling of what kind of person (or company!) we are. When you’re in the interview, ask your interviewer about what it’s like to work in a team for Company XYZ or what options are available for connecting employees with one another. You should get a good idea of whether that company culture is very open or closed or if it values being a team player. Here are some more things to think about before diving straight in: Are there company events where you can bond with your co-workers? Do people from different divisions get to collaborate with one another often? Is the company embracing open business practices?
Have you checked out their social media presence?
Remember how we mentioned that a lot of you are blind-dating your companies, as in meeting them for first time? One thing to make sure you do before you seal the deal a little ways down the road is to check out their social media presence. Social media gives a lot of clue-ins on what the company culture is really like for employees, since they’ll be more likely to drop hints about what they really think about working for the company. Also, you can use LinkedIn to research current employees to see what kind of skills and work experience they have that led them to work for this company. Based on what you find, you might want to tailor your future plans so that you can develop the professional skills that companies might not tell you they want but have hired others for in the past.
Are the benefits of the relationship worth your time?
We all put in at least as much work as what we believe something is worth. This goes the same for your job search as much as it does for your relationships. For those seeking full-time offers, it’s time to think about negotiating your salary and insurance benefits (yes, you’re worth it!). For those wanting internships this summer, consider how much they want from you and whether the experience is worth the opportunity cost of other available opportunities. For help with evaluating offers, stop by BBA Career Services (CBA 2.116) for some helpful handouts or make an appointment with your career advisor!
Will the relationship allow you to grow as a person?
The last thing you want to be in any relationship is bored. Whether you’re bored of the having to do the same tedious thing over and over again, or if you’re tired of being skipped over for acknowledgement on certain projects, anything that makes you feel undervalued or stunted as a person is a valid reason to consider ending that relationship. Jobs should allow you to expand your skillset and constantly challenge yourself to new heights. At the very least, your work should make you feel proud. If you don’t feel like the company can offer you ways to expand your career, care for your family, or contribute to society, you might want to start looking elsewhere for a better fit.
Remember, it’s as much your decision as it is the company’s when evaluating whether the offered position is the best (or at least a relatively good) match. Make sure you take the time to explore your career options and research/prepare when making your big decision! AND remember BBA Career Services is here to help!
With much love,
Elaine Cen, BBA Career Services Peer Career Advisor