You wouldn’t marry someone you just met. So why do so many of us join associations/companies we barely know? Of course, jobs aren’t in the same league as marriage, but there is a certain level of commitment when you accept an offer. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you like them as much as they like you?
Like most people, I’ve had a few jobs I hated. In hindsight, I could see the red flags. On the other hand, I’ve also had a few really great employers – but that was just luck. Most of the time, I was so focused on getting the position that I didn’t put enough consideration into whether I’d like working there.
So, what can you do? The tips below will help you learn more about a prospect while you’re still in the dating stage:
1) Research, research, research: Look up the company online, but go beyond the obvious. Go back a few pages in the Google results – you’ll be more likely to find third-party information. Also, check out CareerBliss.com and GlassDoor.com for anonymous employee reviews.
2) Interview: The kind where YOU ask the questions. Talk to internal contacts/friends about the company culture. Find out what they like and don’t like. Same goes for questions you can ask during the interview – for example, “what do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the organization?”
3) Read between the lines: Employees often won’t come right out and say they hate their organizations. Listen to what they’re NOT saying – you can often pick up a positive or negative vibe.
4) Don’t put TOO much stock into the opinions of others: Disgruntled employees are often the ones that post anonymous reviews, so take the input with a grain of salt.
Starting with a new employer always involves a leap of faith. Yet, getting a realistic view of the organization will boost the odds that you’ll live happily ever after (or, for as long as you choose to stay)!