By Dania Din, DePaul Alum & Talent Engagement Associate at Axiom Global
When you search online for job hunting tips, thousands of articles pop up. So, when the Career Center asked me to write a post for their blog on career readiness, I took a few moments to reflect and realized I never received advice on how to determine if a position is a good fit.
Accepting a job is a major life decision that will shape your career path, help you grow, and make you feel fulfilled. Because much of your success will come from external factors, I’d like to share some key observations from my experience in the workforce.
You’ll spend the majority of your day with the people you work with, and they’ll come from a variety of backgrounds with varying opinions. As you meet with multiple people through the interview process, be sure to ask yourself if you can see yourself working with them on a daily basis. You don’t have to be friends with the people you work with, but when tough/frustrating situations arise, can you see yourself collaborating with them? It’s important to find a team that will support you through the highs and lows.
2. Your Manager
There’s much to learn when you accept your first full-time position, and you’ll need a trusted leader to show you the ropes. I was lucky to have a manager who invested his time in my development, and I owe much of my success to him thus far. Take a look at the jobs you may have had through high school and at DePaul. What qualities did your manager have that you liked? Take some time to reflect on these points before starting the interview process, and come ready with specific questions about the hiring managers’ style. Your manager will have a tremendous impact on your career and overall satisfaction, so take the steps to ensure it’ll be a good fit.
3. Opportunity for Growth
During the job search I didn’t consider what promotion paths could look like, but for those who strive to climb the corporate ladder, it is important to get a clear sense of what growth opportunities exist at your company. Companies either promote their employees based on meritocracy or have a specific promotion path in place. Both have their pros and cons, but be sure to understand what the standard is so there are no surprises down the road.
4. Work Culture
We all have preferences! Some prefer traditional work environments, while others thrive with minimal direction. What has worked best for you? When onsite at an interview, spend a few minutes observing the people around you, the dress code, common interactions, and what the floorplan looks like. At my company, we have a structured atmosphere and an open floor plan, which allows fluid communication and fosters a sense of community.
A value that has become increasingly important to me, stemming from my Vincentian education! Don’t be afraid to ask what a company is doing to support diversity initiatives if it’s something important to you. For example, I had been interviewing with a prominent PR company, and when I asked about their diversity initiatives, the recruiter brushed off my question. In that moment, I realized the company didn’t support my values. On the other hand, when I asked the same question to my current employer, it was evident they valued the individuality of their employees.
Job hunting is scary, time-consuming, and stressful. As a first-time job hunter, consider these tips as you weigh your options. DePaul provided me with a strong education and the tools I needed to transition into the workforce. The above points will have an impact on your day-to-day happiness given you may spend 40+ hours/week immersed in the position you ultimately chose to pursue. Companies take the time to interview you, but be sure to return the favor. Good luck!