You are one of the lucky ones. Your resume made it through to a hiring manager and you either have an interview scheduled or you are in round 3 or 4 and you are contemplating an offer.
How to determine if a job is right for me?
and even more importantly what should you be doing long before this point?
How do I find out if a company is the right fit for me and the job is right for me? What questions do I ask in the interview?
If you are asking the question in the interview it is too late. I agree.
But do you know when it is really too late? — What happens when you have already accepted the position and you realize that you are not comfortable with the climate or environment at work? Yikes! But there are many people who have looked for work for so long that they jump at the chance to get moving again.
How to adapt to an uncomfortable work environment?
1. See if you can find ways of adapting. If you think that the coworkers are hard to work with, perhaps you need to spend more time getting to know them and their culture.
• → I’m following this closely with one of my sons. He transferred to a new site with his company. It was a promotion to an operator level and he has to prove himself. He is paired with someone from another culture who speaks minimal English. My son has had friends from many cultures so he can adapt but he sensed anger from other worker.
• → I encouraged my son to continue efforts to communicate, he was already using sign language and adapting his English to meet his coworker. He just told me, “I think we are starting to gain ground. My coworker told me about his past, coming from a foreign land with the horrors of war-torn tragedies affecting his own family. I see why he could be angry. But it is getting better, he gave me a high-five yesterday.”
2. See if you can change your own attitude. It is easy to think you know all the answers and you have nothing left to learn.
• → If you have just graduated with high honors and been the whiz kid your whole life, you might find it harder to fit in when suddenly other people hold tight to the information and may find you either threatening or not up to speed on how they do it there.
• → Take some time to get to know how they do the work before you start complaining that you know a better way. When the time comes that you gain their trust, you can then make some suggestions.
How do you avoid getting into the company with the wrong culture?
1. Start researching the company long before you apply.
• → Learn what they do from their website and use LinkedIn to get inside information about the company and who works there (or who formerly worked there).
• → Make sure you understand the product or service. Not only will this help you not to get into the wrong culture but it will also help you land the interview and be offered the position. People hire those who invest in learning about the company and show it in their resume and cover letter.
2. Conduct informational interviews.
• → Once you figure out who you might know that works there — and this is much easier now that we have social media to add to our Google research, you can ask one of those people to an informational interview.
• → Invite them to lunch, coffee, or a brief phone conversation to discuss what the company is like and how it feels to work there.
• → Get inside tips on what products or services they see as being the most critical to understand and get red flags on any inside issues or changes in company climate (mergers, acquisitions, downsizing) that could be happening in the future.
Try a few of these tips and see if you don’t find yourself in a much more happy and productive work environment. You’ll be doing your resume a favor because nothing hurts worse in a tough economic climate than frequent job changes. You’ll feel more confident saying yes to the new position now.