When you are reviewing jobs from agencies, job boards or industry magazine adverts, how do you decide which opportunities to apply for? It is tempting to look for impressive job titles, well known organisation and good salaries – but are those the best indicators of a job you’ll enjoy?
To be able to effectively sift through all the jobs available, first of all you need to spend a bit of time on yourself. If you spend some time reflecting on your own values, what motivates you, and what gives you satisfaction at work, then you will be able to look beyond the flashy headlines to assess the job itself more effectively.
If you are to fit comfortably into an organisation and feel energised and motivated to work there and give your best, then you need to be sure that their organisational values are a good match to yours. If they operate on the ‘make the most profit at any cost’ principle, while you gain satisfaction from going the extra mile to give great service, you are likely to find your natural inclinations at odds with their operating policy much of the time. Likewise, if you are driven to earn the highest bonus while they place most emphasis on customer care, you are likely to feel impatient with their slower pace of life quite frequently.
Perhaps you are motivated by receiving praise and recognition in front of your peers for a job well done? Check whether a prospective firm offers internal award schemes. Perhaps getting a promotion is important to you? Find out what their internal career development and appraisal process is like.
Think about what aspects of your current and past jobs have given you greatest satisfaction – that ‘wow’ factor of a job really well done. Was it hearing from a user about positive effects of the information you’ve found for them, completing a library reorganisation or move, or learning new skills so you’re ready to tackle something more challenging? How many of these satisfying activities would a new job involve?
Having thought through all the aspects of a job and an organisation that will make it right for you allows you to frame the right questions to ask of your recruiter, to look for in adverts and job descriptions, and to ask at job interviews. Always remember that these interactions should be two way conversations! Armed with this more in-depth information you will be able to make a better decision when it comes to which job to apply for – and which offer to accept.