- An important thing to consider is size. When you go to work, do you find it energizing or exhausting to see a lot of people? Some people love the hum-drum of large companies, but many others prefer to be in smaller, more intimate workplaces where they know all of their co-workers. An important question is how well you can work in these environments. Do you feel confident sharing ideas and advocating for yourself in large meetings? Or are you more likely to contribute and thrive in a smaller, more intimate setting?
- Would you like to work at an established company or a new one? In established companies, roles tend to be clear cut and set, whereas, in smaller companies, employees tend to get opportunities to work across different functions. It’s a question of how you work best. A more established company might be right for you if you prefer to have defined responsibilities and thrive with a clear reporting structure. If you enjoy more independent work, the ability to embark on projects outside of your role, and the freedom and flexibility to tackle work with minimal supervision, then a newer company might be a better place for you.
- Culture is one of the most important aspects when looking for a new job. There are lots of different kinds of companies, so think about who you are and what situations you thrive in when choosing a place to work. Are you competitive? If you enjoy competing with co-workers for work, opportunities, and recognition, then select a company whose culture reflects that, a company that values healthy competition and assertive employees. Even if the thought of that is stressful for you, find a company that keeps competition to a minimum and values teamwork and collaboration. Other aspects of culture are important as well. Some people love companies with game rooms, field days, volunteer events, etc., while others just want work to be work. If a personal and collaborative culture is important to you, choose a company that reflects that. If it’s not your thing, you won’t be setting yourself up for success if you work at a company that profoundly values that kind of participation and connection.
- It may sound cliche, but you should care about what you do and what your company does. You should believe in the mission your company is trying to achieve in the world. You won’t be successful in a company if its mission and vision don’t resonate with you. When you have that buy-in to the work you do every day, you will inevitably be more productive, effective, and happier at work.
Think of it like this: companies are built by people. To find your company, you need to find your people. The closer you are to their priorities, ethos, and personalities, the better you’ll do in that company. If you’re the person who doesn’t answer calls after 6 pm in a company where others work into the night, or you opt-out of field trip events that your co-workers attend, you won’t be first on the list when it comes to working on a new project or offering promotions. There are so many different kinds of companies to work for, and there is no point in working at one that doesn’t align with who you are. So as you embark on your job search, sit down and ask yourself: what does your dream workplace look like?