As a pandemic grad, I know how intimidating finding a job can be. Online applications can be daunting and online interviews can be few and far between. So it’s a huge relief to receive an offer of employment from somewhere finally, and most new grads, myself included, jump at the opportunity immediately.
Something you should remember is that as much as employers are vetting you through the interview process, you’re vetting them too. Part of the interview process for them is seeing if you fit the company. So during the interview and probationary period, you should also be seeing if they’re a fit for you.
But how do you know that place is right for you?
What should you be looking for in a place of employment?
Here are three questions I’ve kept in mind throughout interviews and during my time working.
1. What is the Training Process?
How do you learn best? Are you someone who needs to walk through the process of doing something a couple of times before picking it up? Are you someone who likes figuring out how to do things independently? Do you like taking notes while being shown what to do so you can follow your takeaways for future reference? Think about all this, and ensure that employers can appropriately accommodate what you need to fee onboarded.
As new grads, you’re not going to know everything about the field you’re entering. There will be a training process, whether on procedures, protocols, software, hardware, and more. If you’re told that the training process is relatively hands-off and you need that extra guidance, maybe that isn’t the place for you and vice-versa.
2. What is the Management Style?
Is management overly involved? Distant? Available? Take that into account with your work style; what do you need from your manager? Do you need them to be around or more hands-off? Do you want daily check-ins? Weekly? Bi-weekly?
Management is a considerable part of the way you view your job and can affect whether you enjoy working or not. For example, you may love the field you’ve chosen for yourself, but if the management style doesn’t work for you, it may be hard to love your job. Vice-versa, if you struggle to find enjoyment in your new work (the job), but management is stellar, it can be easier to find joy in your role.
3. What Kind of Atmosphere is It?
You can only really answer the above question after you’ve started working. Discovering what your co-workers and the departments are like comes through interaction with your team. Everyone needs different qualities out of their workplace atmosphere. For example, if you go into work expecting to talk to your co-workers about things that may be unrelated to work, maybe you’d prefer a more casual atmosphere. Your coworkers can make up a big part of how you view your job. If you don’t get along with them or the department’s atmosphere isn’t what you want in a workplace, maybe that isn’t the place for you. It may take a period of adjustment for you to figure out your groove with your coworkers, but give it ample time! You’ll soon see if the atmosphere is conducive to growth within and outside your workplace.
Based on these questions, I’ve figured out what I want (and alternatively what I don’t want) in an employer. It’s helped me be a little pickier in what I’m looking for in work and filter out what I’m not looking for. Being “picky” isn’t bad; remember that you’re an asset to the company as much as they are to you. Make sure companies meet your criteria as much as you’re meeting theirs; this is an equal partnership, even if it’s not presented that way. Check to ensure that your work environment works for you as much as you work for the company.