It’s funny how much time we spend preparing ourselves for how to best answer why we are the right fit for the job, without ever really taking the time to pause and ask an equally important question — why is the job and company we’re about to work for truly the right fit for us?
Before we know it, we’ve managed to sell the company on saying yes to us only to realize that we can’t say the same thing about the job or company for which we’re now working.
If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. After all, it can be exciting to land a job with the money or title you’ve always dreamed of. But trust me when I say this: the money or fancy title won’t matter once the honeymoon phase is over and you’re stuck working for a company that doesn’t respect your values or what you bring to the table.
How can I be so sure? Because I just recently left my job at a trillion-dollar company to pursue another opportunity. Don’t get me wrong; I was fortunate enough to find a vocation I love and work for a company I’ve been a fan of since I first knew anything about technology. However, I also learned that finding a job I love is only half the battle. The second part is finding a company that shares the same love and respect for my work, values, and future growth.
So here are two big questions you should consider before making your next big career move:
1. Is the company culture a good fit? When you think about the culture of a company, it’s no different than thinking about the personality of a person with which you will spend a lot of time. And since you and this company are about to be spending 40+ hours a week together, you must take the time to investigate the company values, ethics, working agreement, and goals before you commit to anything. For example, if integrity, inclusion, diversity, and transparency are important values to you, then you better make sure you know they are essential to your future employer too. Not only will you enjoy your time at work more when your needs and values are consistent with those in the workplace, but you’ll be happier and more productive at work as a result. Win-win, right?
2. Is there an opportunity for future growth? As exciting as your job may be in the beginning, it’s also vital to understand what your opportunity for training, development, and growth (or lack of) can look like down the road. According to a report carried out by Bayt.com with YouGov in April 2015, 43% of 5,774 respondents left their jobs within two years. Although the number one reason for leaving was salary, the second was a lack of career growth opportunities. Surprise, surprise, right?
Most importantly, no matter how appealing the job or pay or even title sound at the moment, remember not to overlook the criteria that will keep you happily employed long-term. If at any point, you uncover even the smallest thing about a company’s culture or lack of opportunities for growth that doesn’t sit right with you, the job will most likely not be a good fit moving forward. And if you’ve already started a position with the company, remember there’s no shame in walking away. Sometimes quitting is the *best* thing you can do for you and your career.