When you’re on the job market, it may feel as if any job offer will do. But if you accept an offer from an employer that doesn’t provide what you need and want, you’re likely to find yourself pounding the pavement again in short order.
Here are five things to look for from an employer you’ll want to work for:
Opportunities for Advancement
Does the employer give you a real chance to work toward higher positions with better compensation and greater responsibility? Find out in two ways. First, ask about advancement in your interview with questions like “what piece of advice do you give employees who are serious about earning a promotion?”
Second, used LinkedIn to search for former and current employees who held the position you’re interviewing for. Did they change job titles in the same company – or do they regularly leave once they’ve held this position? A pattern of employees leaving indicates there’s no clear way to move upward.
When you meet people who work for the company, ask them: “What’s your favorite part about working here?” If they light up when discussing their projects, co-workers, or other opportunities, you’ve found a company culture that supports its staff. And if you find yourself getting excited just listening to them, even better!
While sitting in the waiting room and during your interview, pay attention to your surroundings. How are the offices arranged and furnished? Is the technology current or out of date? How cluttered or crowded is the space? Do people pause to chat with each other, or stay focused?
Pay particular attention to how the offices make you feel. If you feel energized and able to do good work here, you’ve found a point in the employer’s favor. If the space makes you feel drained, you may want to consider other options.
Use websites like Glassdoor and Salary.com to research competitive salaries and benefits in your field. This way, you’ll know what your experience and skills are worth to similar employers. You’ll be better equipped to argue in favor of competitive compensation – and therefore more likely to get it. Your recruiter can also help you determine what a solid compensation package should look like.
Bosses You Can Respect
The majority of job seekers are looking for a new employer because they can’t do their best work with the boss they have. During your interview, talk to the person who will be directly supervising you. Ask them about their management style and the qualities they find most important in a good employee. If you “click,” chances are you have found a job you’ll love.