How to know whether you are joining the right company and role for you

When you’re looking for a job, it’s often easy to get caught up in what a potential employer thinks of you. Are you smart enough? Do you have the right experience? Will you make a meaningful contribution to the team?

In this flurry of self-questioning, it’s easy to forget that the job search is actually a two-way street. It’s just as important for you to find a company that you like as it is to find a company that likes you.

Before accepting a new role, and even before you start looking for a new role it’s important to know what to look out for so that you make the right move for your career. Here are 5 ways to determine if a job is actually the best fit for you.

Company philosophy

Do you share the same values as the key stakeholders in the business? Do they promote investment in staff and understand the value in training and support? You can tell a lot about a company by the CEO and the founders. Company culture stems from the very people that created it. When you’re looking into a new role you need to make sure that the company’s philosophy aligns as closely as possible to your own. This will help ensure that you remain happy over the long term as you and the company continue to grow together.

Retention of high achievers

Retention in general isn’t a complete picture for what a company is like. We believe that a company should not be judged purely on their retention of staff. The best way to indicate if a firm is a good place to work is by their retention of their highest achievers and most valuable contributors. High achievers are ambitious and will attract attention from competing firms. If a company is able to prevent heads being turned, it shows that they are rewarding staff in accordance to their contribution and continuously challenging them with new responsibility, giving no reason to consider other options. Investigate whether the company has high achievers and how long they have been at the firm. This will help paint a much clearer picture.

A clear company structure

Company structures these days are more diverse than ever before. It can sometimes be difficult to know how authority passes its way up the organisation, and therefore how you make your way up that path. It’s important for you to know whether a particular company has clear indicators and targets set for each employee to progress in their career. This is a hugely important consideration particularly if you’re a high achiever yourself. Having a clear structure allows employees to focus on short-term goals and as a result, move up the corporate ladder.

Do you think you will get on with and learn from your manager?

80% of candidates we speak to who are ‘actively looking’ do not have a productive working relationship with their boss. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, emphasises on the importance of a good mentor. Between the ages of 20 – 40, learning and developing new skills from the people you work with is more important than the company you work for. Once you move into your 40’s things shift an you begin to implement what you have learnt and then teach others. If you don’t have a good relationship with your manager and if they aren’t ‘teaching’ you then you may need to consider whether sticking around is going to work for you in the long-term.

Making a difference

The ability to really make a difference at your future employer is rewarding both emotionally and financially. Joining a firm that trusts you and gives you a platform to influence is a great indicator of a motivating and stimulating environment. Running these types of questions past your potential future employer can really help give you and indication of whether you’ll be able to make a difference in the role. 

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