For some people, a job is merely a paycheck or a means to an end. But if you don’t count yourself among those folks, odds are you want something a little bit more than just money. You want opportunities for advancement, excitement, and most importantly, fulfillment. So if you’re in a job that doesn’t offer these perks or challenges to inspire you, you might be in the market for a new position.
The only trouble is how to know if a job is the right fit. As a method of self-reflection, identifying what you want, and analyzing your personal circumstances and priorities, asking yourself a few questions is paramount. So before you start applying to jobs or going to interviews, answer these questions to find a better fit for your next job.
1. Will This Job Align With My Career Goals and Aspirations?
If you want a job that makes you feel excited to get up every morning, you need to ensure it aligns with your career goals. So it just makes sense to preemptively determine what these goals and aspirations are. Moreover, many interviewers ask about your career goals. As such, it’s of the utmost importance to contemplate these in an objective manner.
To discover your own career goals and learn how to know if a job is the right fit, you’re going to have to answer a few extra questions:
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
- How much responsibility do you want?
- Are you interested in management?
- Do you require additional certifications or education? Will the company provide it?
You can obviously ask more questions that pertain to your specific situation. If a job aligns with your career goals and aspirations, that’s a great sign. But more than anything, trust your gut and intuition. If something seems off, your subconscious is usually right.
2. Will This Job Provide Healthy Challenges?
To understand how to know if a job is the right fit, you only have to look at the challenges it poses. However, these must be healthy challenges. Figuring out how to streamline communication, settling differences between coworkers, or dealing with toxic work environments are challenges, but they certainly aren’t healthy.
A healthy challenge is a task or job responsibility that pushes you to your full potential. Perhaps it’s something you have the skills to do but have never done before. Or maybe cross-training and learning transferable skills are more your style. Whatever challenges you is the answer of how to know if a job is the right fit.
Check out the job description and duties for insight into your day-to-day responsibilities and what to expect. To build upon this, ask more about challenges at your job interview. Your assertiveness and aspirations may just impress the interviewer on top of your body of work.
3. Do the Company’s Culture and Values Align With My Own?
If you want to feel fulfilled and thrive in a new position, you only need to look at the company’s values, mission, and culture. These should all resonate with your sense of purpose, work style, and principles. When they don’t, you’re asking for trouble. However, you’ll have to do a bit of investigation before you apply.
To find out if a company’s culture and values align with your own, follow these steps:
- Research the company. Look at the mission and vision statements, press releases, and employee reviews to gather some intel.
- Network with current and former employees. These individuals can provide you with an insider’s look at the company — both the good and the bad.
- Look beyond the mission and vision. A company can state that these are its values, but following through is integral. Search for what the organization has done in terms of social responsibility, charity, volunteerism, and community involvement.
- Reflect on your own values, just as you would with your career goals.
4. Are There Opportunities for Advancement?
A surefire way to figure out how to know if a job is the right fit is if the company showcases its opportunities for advancement. A dead-end job can lead to burnout, apathy, and even the search for a new career path. As such, advancement opportunities are of the utmost importance.
Thankfully, determining whether a company has advancement opportunities is usually easy. One way is to hop on LinkedIn and search for people within the company. Since you can see their employment history, you should see long-tenured employees that progress as time moves along. You can also send messages to these people for more insight into career progression.
You should also assess the company itself. The company needs the finances and products to allow for advancement. In most cases, medium and larger companies have the resources to promote internally. They may also have career advancement programs for their employees, which can help you learn the skills required to take your career to the next level.
5. Does the Job Offer Work-Life Balance?
Remote work offers unprecedented work-life balance. But as more companies return to the office or only offer hybrid work arrangements, work-life balance becomes more of a concern.
While vacation days, wellness stipends, and gym memberships are a great start, you should still find out more about the company’s view of work-life balance. Do they actively encourage it? Does the company culture have opportunities to discuss non-work-related matters? Can you go on vacation without feeling fearful of falling behind or being looked over for a promotion?
Again, networking and reading peer reviews can offer the insight you need. If the company doesn’t meet your expectations, move on to the next one.
6. Do the Compensation and Benefits Meet My Expectations and Financial Needs?
Money isn’t everything, but you can’t cook without that dough so to speak. You shouldn’t take a substantial pay cut just to take a job that might be the right fit. During your job search, look for a job that meets your financial needs and expectations. If one’s borderline, that’s still acceptable; it leaves room for salary negotiation.
Around 70% of employers expect a salary negotiation even after the initial offer, so you don’t necessarily have to take it. If the job checks all the other boxes, discuss salary and benefits in a professional, learned manner. Discuss your worth, know the average salary range, stay confident, and actively listen to the hiring manager. You can use this as a litmus test for how to know if a job is the right fit while also getting fair compensation.
Build a Profile That Makes You a Solid Candidate for the Right Job
After answering these questions, you may have a better idea of how to know if a job is the right fit. Just make sure that you have all of your affairs in order before you start applying. Update your resume, build a portfolio, and network. This can open up doors, help you find the right connections, and make you a more coveted candidate in a competitive job market.
If you need help in any of these aspects or you’re ready to search for the perfect fit, Virtual Vocations can help. Register with Virtual Vocations today for access to a jobs board with tens of thousands of listings, career services, and remote industry guides. Sometimes, knowing a job is the right fit is all about finding someone who appreciates your hard work. At the very least, you can have the confidence you need to apply to the right jobs and dominate the interview.
Have you ever wondered if the job you have is the right fit for you? What things do you look for when researching a company? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts and tips. We’d love to hear from you!
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