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5 Things to Look for in Your Next Employer

by My Career

In this article we explore 5 things to look for in your next employer.  If you’re looking for a new job, it’s important to look for the right job for you.

When considering your next employer, understanding key factors that are important to you is a great way to assess a role and company’s suitability for your individual needs.  You may like to consider the company values, work environment and remuneration, or it may be more important that you find an employer with a company culture and team that’s suited to your personality and career goals.

5 Things to Look for in Your Next Employer

There’s a lot to consider when looking for a job and to determine which job opportunity is best for you, here are 5 things to look for in your next employer.

1.  Company’s Social License & Company Values

As consumers, and employees, we are becoming more discerning about the environmental and social impact of the the brands we buy and the organisations we support.

Assessing a company’s social license to operate in the market is an increasingly important factor if you wish to work for an organisation that’s making a positive contribution to society.  Organisations wishing to take this ethos seriously can seek certification such as B Corp, designating it a business that’s meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. In order to achieve certification, a company must demonstrate high social and environmental performance,

make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders and exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.

If your personal values are aligned with the company values, work feels less like work and is in greater synchronisation with what’s really important to you.  When you research a potential employer, compare your values with an employer’s mission statement, core values and business model.

If you want what you do to make a difference, assessing a company’s social license and values is a great way to help you find your next employer.

“Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balance purpose and profit.

B Corporations, or B Corps, make decisions to create a positive impact for their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.”

Browse the list of B Corporations in Australia and New Zealand here.

2. Flexible Work Options

Many organisations are now providing flexible work options. If you’d like flexibility in when and where you work then choosing an organisation that provides flexibility for the types of roles you are qualified to deliver is an important consideration.

Factors to consider within this are:

Job location: If you are required to spend some of your working week in the office, think about both your working hours and your commute time.  Is there are a set time you are expected to be at work or can you avoid the traffic and start later, for example.

Working hours: Find out how many work hours are expected in a “normal” work week and what flexibility is available in how you deliver these hours across a week.  Also explore the requirements for busy work periods and leave policies.

3. Remuneration, Recognition & Reward

Your remuneration should be aligned with industry standards.  Do your research and talk to recruiters about your salary expectations to help you determine what is realistic and achievable in the current market environment.  There are a variety of options for packaging your salary.  Decide your salary expectations and be flexible about how you approach this in your negotiations. Also explore what recognition and reward programs are on offer, especially if you’re pursuing more senior roles or business development roles where bonuses or incentives are likely to be offered.

4. Role Responsibilities & Scope for Challenge

Choosing the right role at the right employer means being clear about the role description, how this role contributes to the organisation’s overall mission, who the role reports to and the role’s direct reports.

By this point in your career you’ve hopefully developed a strong sense of your strengths and are clear about the types of roles where you can have the greatest impact.  Choose roles that play to these strengths and that you believe you will enjoy.

Jobs that provide opportunities for challenge are especially important in more senior roles so that you can make a positive contribution and impart some of your own experience and knowledge to the organisation.  While there may be small elements of a role that you may dislike, try to ensure that 80% of the role’s responsibilities present a welcome challenge to you.

5. Work Environment & Colleagues

Organisational fit means assessing the company’s work environment and understanding what is the right type of company for you.  Think about whether you prefer working in a start up, a family owned business, a fast paced and rapidly growing established business or a large corporation.

It’s important you have the opportunity to check out the offices and workspaces in order to get a feel for the pace and company culture. A workspace that inspires or excites you is a great sign that it’s the right fit for you!

When you visit for a job interview, take the time to observe other team members as they work to help soak up the general ‘vibe’ of the place.  Also take note of how employees are dressed.  If you’re unsure, you can always ask about the company dress code.

Your potential team members will be a significant part of your working life, so try to get to know as many as possible before accepting a job offer. Observe how team members interact with each other and ask as many questions as possible about the working environment. Check your LinkedIn connections to see if you know anyone who already works at the company as they can provide useful information regarding the work environment and ‘the way things are done’ at the company.

Karen Hollenbach, LinkedIn Expert Consultant, Educator & Mentor

Karen Hollenbach, LinkedIn Expert Consultant, Educator & Mentor

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