“We would like to offer you the job”. These are words that can change your life and most certainly your career. They certainly did for me.
When I accepted my job in Australia it changed the course of my life. It accelerated my leadership career and got me to where I am today and for that I am forever grateful. I achieved my career goal.
But not everyone has the same experience.
Your next job is another step towards achieving your career goal. When you have a choice or when change is thrust upon you, it is an opportunity to improve your career. But you need to choose wisely. When you choose the right job and company your career can accelerate. If you choose the wrong job and company your career can be halted or, in some cases, retracted. Making the decision in your next career move can change your career trajectory.
How do you know if you are making the right career move? There are 12 easy ways to know for sure.
- Understand what your values are
Eventually you will examine a prospective employer and you need to be able to make sure your values align. It is the values of the business that determine the culture, working environment, and the quality of the business decisions that are made. If the values do not align the decision will not be a good one. For the job to be right for you the values must align.
2. Consider what your strengths are
Consider if your strengths match the skills and requirements of the job. It is your strengths that set you apart and make you unique. Do you understand what your strengths are? Do your strengths match what the job is intended to do? To be successful in the job you need to have the strengths that complement the job or have the capabilities to develop those skills in the job. If your strengths do not align you may feel out of your depth, unaccomplished, and unsuccessful.
3. Employer brand
Research the company’s employer brand. What is their employer value proposition, the benefits on offer, the career opportunities, and their investment in learning? Does this match what you are looking for? How does the company communicate their employer brand? Is it consistent across the different communication platforms? The effort the company puts into their employer brand gives you an indication into how they value their employees.
During the recruitment process how did the company communicate with you. Was it consistent and detailed or sporadic and superficial? How they choose to communicate with you during the recruitment process is a very clear indication into how they communicate internally.
5. Review social media
Research how the company and the leaders in the business communicate and engage on social media. Does how they communicate on these channels match up to what they say in the recruitment process. It does not always have to be perfect but is the effort there? Is it positive and confident or negative and polarising?
6. Ability to answer questions
When interviewing, ask questions to understand the people you will be working with. Prepare questions that will uncover everything you need to make the right decision. If the interviewer can answer with clarity and no hesitation, you can be confident that the person and company live up to their values.
7. Reference checking
Talk to people and ask questions about the company and your prospective manager’s reputation. Their customers, ex-employees, and current employees. This will give you a 360-view of the company and prospective manager. It will give you an understanding of the pattern of behaviour to help you make an informed decision.
8. Use your networks as a guide
Those in your networks will give you firsthand feedback on the company and leaders. The feedback will be authentic and unbiased as it is their own experience. Take a deeper look at how your networks engage with the company or leaders. Your networks are highly valuable with the ability to give you honest feedback.
9. Meet the team
The team is who you will work with daily. It is who you interact with, make decisions with, fail, and succeed with. Spend time with them formally and informally if you can. Get to know them as people. Are they people you can be friends with? Are they people you can form strong professional relationships with? The people are what make a company successful, so this is an important aspect in making your decision.
10. Understand the culture
Use every conversation as an opportunity to ask questions that will allow you to dig deep and understand the company culture. The more you find out from the better you can understand if that culture complements your values. Do not take the information face value from the website. Ask questions to uncover the overall and sub-cultures. How do they socialise? How do they celebrate wins? How do they deal with failure? How do they implement new ideas? From what you reveal, does it match your values? Is it an environment you will want to work in?
11. The leaders
Who are your direct and indirect leaders? Understand those that influence the business decisions across the business including the c-suite and board. Is there a consistency in values and behaviours? All leaders have different qualities and styles. This is what makes a business so successful. When considering your direct leader and other leaders across the business, do they inspire you or not?
12. Trust yourself
Be confident in your decision. You will only ever now if it is completely right for you once you join. If you feel comfortable with all the information you have gathered, trust yourself, and make the decision. Embrace the onboarding and the learning journey to make your impact in your new job.
By following these steps, you will confidently make the right decision in your next career move.
Looking for a new job is an opportunity to progress towards achieving your career goal. Making the decision on your next job opportunity becomes so much easier when you know how that job fits into your career plan.