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Receiving that ‘Congratulations…’ email after weeks of applications, interviews and stress can be a huge rush. You spring out of bed buzzing with energy, get to the office an hour early and work harder than ever, thrilled to have seized this dream role!
But how many of us know where this story is heading? The 9-5 becomes a 7-11, the ‘cool’ boss is at boiling point, and no one else in the office is smiling…
Just like a whirlwind romance, a new job can quickly sour after the honeymoon period. As has been reported, the pandemic prompted a lot of people to rethink their careers and take bold steps to change them, with as many as a third of UK workers planning a move in 2022. For some, the choice to leave one company for another has proven to be the right one. Others, however, are finding the grass isn’t always greener. In their haste to leave an unfulfilling job, they’ve overlooked the importance of doing in-depth research on a company that looks like a perfect fit.
So, how can you tell if a job opportunity is right for you? Here are some green flags to look for in a prospective employer.
Positive workplace culture
Take a look at any successful company’s website and social media. Chances are you’ll see photos of the team enjoying away days and after-work drinks like a group of old friends. This is a great indicator of a company striving to regularly bring a team together – the importance of which can be forgotten in the current excitement around hybrid and remote working. You may even wish to reach out to your potential colleagues for their own experiences in the office.
Transparent diversity & inclusion initiatives
Many companies have clearly defined policies around Diversity & Inclusion, often available to view on their website. While this is a good start, it’s worth looking at the reality in their team via social media, and by asking questions in the interview process. Reviews from employees on sites like Glassdoor can also be revealing. If there’s a lack of diversity, an honest answer from the interviewers is still a sign of their awareness of the issue.
Good communication and flexibility during the hiring process
Applying and interviewing for jobs is stressful at the best of times, but not hearing a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for weeks at a time can be unbearable. Regular updates from the recruitment team show there is as much respect for the candidate’s time as there is for the company’s. During this back-and-forth it’s also good practice to pay attention to how accommodating they are with interview dates and times. If a company is understanding of prior commitments in your calendar, such as the school run, it’s a good hint at how flexibly it will treat you as an employee.
Clear career progression opportunities
The classic “Where do you see yourself in five years?” could just as easily be countered with “Where do you see me?” While we certainly don’t advise being quite so forward, the point stands that a company needs to be able to show there are real opportunities for you to learn new skills and climb the career ladder beyond the role in question. Examples from its current workforce are the best proof.
Respect for work-life balance
The importance of a healthy work-life balance has been in the spotlight for a while now, encouraging employers to place much more emphasis on it in their job adverts. But this is an easy area for them to fall short in due to our 24hour connectivity and ability to work remotely. In the interviews, be sure to delve into any benefits offered like holiday, flexible hours/days, personal days, life-coaching, and mental health initiatives.
What connects all these positive indicators is the proof that a company acts on its word. If you can see the employer puts its money where its mouth is, or at the very least is transparent in its shortcomings and efforts to amend them, you can rest easy that this is a company with a human approach to business.
If you’re ready to take the next steps in your career evolution, and would like advice and help finding a role and company that will match your principles, please get in touch today.
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