By Kevin Donnellon
It’s a good time to be looking for a new job. There’s greater opportunity and lots of movement among job candidates, and most of it seems positive.
Consider these statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
• On the last business day of July, the job openings level was little changed at 7.2 million. The job openings’ rate was 4.5 percent.
• The number of quits edged up to a high in July of 3.6 million (+130,000). The quits’ rate was 2.4 percent.
• The quits’ rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs.
So clearly, it’s a positive market for candidates. Nonetheless, before you make the leap, remember the grass is always greener.
To be sure you land in a job that meets your wants and needs, I would suggest answering these 10 questions to help assure a good fit:
1. Culture – does the organization match your values and is it attractive – supportive, team-oriented, progressive, realistic, fair, adept at training, etc.? Will you be comfortable with the overall environment and morale there?
2. Community and colleagues – is it stimulating, full of winners, accomplished pros, and able to improve you and ready to help you adapt if needed?
3. Compensation – is switching jobs the best and easiest way to make more money? How important is that to you? Full medical and retirement and vacation etc. benefits are essential, and you must carefully check to see what is exactly offered.
4. Capability – does it have systems, structure and aligned team(s) on vision, accountability and focus?
5. Compatibility – is the environment and team like you (similar) and does it respect and appreciate you as a person and professional?
6. Connections – can it help build your connections, network and client exposure and be willing to support yours and have a solid or growable position and reputation in the market?
7. Control – can you do what you want to do to grow – hire own people, move around eventually, possibly run your own systems and show (autonomy)?
8. Character – do it have integrity and professionalism? Dig into this. Might seem apparent but one never knows. We Work was a compelling place to work until recently.
9. Change – embrace it, nurture or run from it? Is it strategic, innovative, systematized and programmed to capitalize on change?
10. Chemistry – do you fit here? Do you like and respect this organization, its reputation and its culture and values?
Get some great perspective on great companies by checking out Glassdoor’s recent Employee’s Choice Awards. These awards are a bit different than most because the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards are based on the input of employees who voluntarily provide anonymous feedback about their job, work environment, and employer over the past year. Most cities’ business magazines have a similar ranking.
Sure there is some overlap in these questions but answer them all and think of your own questions. And no company is perfect, so maybe rank the answers from 1 to 5. And ranking #1 is never, 2.5 is sometimes and 5 is consistently or whatever words fit you but keep this simple.
Is that a lot to discover and takes lots of time? Yes, and use all traditional and new sources – social media coverage, jobsite rankings, conversations with friends and former employees. Also be prepared to ask tough and polite questions with interviewers and hiring managers. If they take exception to that, run away. Fast.
So, it might seem like extra work but isn’t it best to look long and hard before your leap?