I wouldn’t say I’m cynical but most of my close friends would say I’m not easily impressed. Last week I took a call from a young woman who was seeking some direction on which companies to target for her job search. While still junior in her career she possessed a deep level of understanding of the kinds of things she was seeking in her next employer. She knew what she wanted to gain through experience and was willing to find the right company who would foster these aspirations. Impressive. Most of us have at least a vague, underlying sense of what we desire from our work. Some of us are seeking fulfillment or engagement within a meaningful role. While others may have an aggressive list of goals and benchmarks we would like to achieve.
Is it whimsical to believe that we can achieve our desires through personal efforts alone? If we simply work long and hard enough will we eventually reach our destination of personal satisfaction?
Most of us acknowledge that we cannot do it all alone. We need the right environment in which to thrive. But what does that environment look like? How do we know which environments will be fruitful and which will drain us and foster resentment.
This begins with some self-awareness. Rather than taking a shot gun approach to whatever comes your way, consider spending some time thinking about what truly matters to you. It’s not always as easy or simple as you may think.
What matters to you? A few ideas to get you thinking…
- Upward mobility. Opportunity for promotions. You’re looking for a career track.
- A socially conscious company. Mission driven.
- A brand that you can relate to personally.
- Superior product that inspires.
- Work-life balance.
- Continuous learning. Opportunities to grow professionally.
- You want to feel like you’re part of something as opposed to just a number.
Once you have a firm grasp on what’s important you can begin to narrow down your list of potential future employers. Maybe it’s a combination. Even better. The more specific you can be about your desired culture and goals, the easier the process will become when determining fit.
A company’s culture typically represents the people, systems, beliefs and scope of the overall organization. So where do you go from here? If you’re ready to develop a strategic search plan continue here for step by step instructions.
Photo Credit: Thread