Roses are red, violets are blue…is your current job the best match for you?
We’ve all heard the cliches about dating and job searching. In both of them, you seek the “perfect match.” And in both love and career, there can be a decent amount of rejection.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get the, “It’s not you, it’s me” speech. Though, unfortunately, some will just ghost you.
Dating is tough. Job searching is tough. But you’re tougher. And the work you put into finding the right job match won’t be wasted.
In this article, we’ll share tips on how to find a job that will break through your fear of commitment.
Is it Time to Break up With Your Boss?
The first step in your journey to finding your perfect job match is realizing that you want something more—or simply something different. Also, know that wanting something different isn’t a “bad” thing.
As in relationships, it’s easy to get swept up in your career. Maybe when you were a recent grad, you struggled with the career search, so you had to take something that wasn’t necessarily aligned with your desired path. Or maybe you took your career day-by-day instead of having a planned path.
Now that you have a stronger sense of self and a deeper understanding of what you want, it’s time to make your way to the right path.
Now, What is Your Perfect Job Match?
To find your perfect match, you need to know what that means for you. Think about your values and write out exactly what you want and need from your job. Is it culture? Pay? Autonomy? Something else? All of the above?
Below, we’ll share advice on how to ensure your next job is not just a match with your experience and skills, but more of a love match.
Check Yes or No. (On Company Culture Alignment)
If a relationship doesn’t feel right, you know. At first, you might get caught up in the romance or excitement of it all. But eventually, that “not this” moment will fall on you—hard. The same goes for a job. That’s why it’s so important to understand the culture before you get started there.
Think of company culture as the personality of the business. It sheds light on what the company prioritizes, its mission, values, and beliefs. Make sure the culture of the company aligns with your personality. Otherwise, there’s not going to be a lot of happiness past the honeymoon stage.
Again, think of it like dating. If humor, playfulness, and creativity are important to you, then you’re probably not going to do well long-term with someone who is constantly serious and super formal. The same goes for jobs. Ideally, you want to work somewhere that shares your values, because that means they will value what you bring to the table. But how do you ensure this?
Write down what type of culture you’re looking for.
Write out exactly what you value in a job or position. Is it creativity? Flexibility? Professional development? Get it all down on paper. Then you’ll be able to reference this list throughout the job-seeking process.
Learn about a company’s culture on employer review sites and social media.
Do your due diligence and visit the company’s website and review websites such as Glassdoor to learn what others are saying about their experience there. The style of the website and “About” section will provide you with a quick glimpse into how to business wants to be perceived. Check out their social media pages, too, because many businesses will share insight into their culture there.
Network and ask a company’s current employees how they would define the culture.
If you are truly interested in a position, you should be trying to network with those who are there anyway. So why not simply ask them about their experience? Connect with them and message them on LinkedIn letting them know you applied. Then, ask them how they’d describe the culture.
This is also vital during the interview process, but we’ll touch more on that later.
Love Don’t Cost a Thing? (On Salary Alignment)
Negotiating, well, anything, can be intimidating. That’s especially true when you find yourself so entranced with something new and exciting—a relationship or even a job. It’s easy to get wrapped up in that excitement and not pursue what you are truly worth. But that’s not setting yourself up for a successful (career) relationship.
It’s important to set a strong foundation for when you start a job because that’s your starting point. You don’t want to spend years trying to catch up to where you actually want to be financially because you were too afraid to negotiate your salary.
Especially as a recent grad entering the workforce, there can be a feeling of gratefulness that you were even given an opportunity. But remember, you are bringing value to this company with your work. Every relationship should bring value to both sides—you do so with your work, and your employers should do so (at the very least) with a good salary.
So how should you approach your salary negotiations when you believe you might have found your perfect match?
Research average salary ranges.
Research is essential to negotiating your salary. Scour websites such as Salary.com, PayScale, and (again) Glassdoor to see the salary range for someone in your position (or potential position) and with your experience and skills.
Also, make sure to research your own expenses. Really sit down and think out your living expenses. Are you making ends meet now? Do you want to have a different living situation? Your salary negotiation should take all of this into consideration.
Ask the hiring manager to share the salary range in the interview.
In every job interview, hiring managers will ask about your desired salary. Even though you have your research and range in mind, turn the question back to them. Ask them the range they have in mind and let that guide the numbers you give them. Most of them will provide this range, but if not, fall back on your research.
Is There a Future Here? (On Career Path Alignment)
If you’re looking for your perfect job match, you’re looking for commitment. This isn’t a job that you want to give a few months or years to and then head on out. Instead, this is where you want to invest your time and future.
That’s why you want to clarify the career advancement opportunities at a company. If you commit to the job, you want to know that it is also committing to you. It’s a waste of your talent if there is no intention to have you advance within the business as you share your time, value, and skills with it. Request the hiring manager explain upfront exactly how important this is within the company and share how they address it.
Again, your interview will help you determine this, so make sure you come prepared. Below are a few questions you can ask to make sure this is the perfect job match for you:
- Can you describe the culture here?
- How important is culture to this business?
- What do you value in your employees?
- How do you measure employee satisfaction?
- What would my day-to-day responsibilities look like?
- What opportunities are there for professional development?
- What would you say is the most challenging part of this job?
- How do you celebrate employee success?
- How does the company address big life changes with employees?
- How important is transparency to the company?
Will You be Mine? (On Winning the Job)
Now that you know how to identify your perfect job match, let the (metaphorical) swiping begin! You deserve to love your job, so make sure you pursue one where you can find long-term happiness.
If you need help creating a resume for your perfect job match, check out our free resume builder.
Our resume optimization tool will also help you see how well your resume lines up with your perfect job match.