When applying for a new job, applicants (especially young jobseekers) often fall into the trap of going out of their way to prove that they are suitable for the job.
But have you ever stopped asking yourself if the job is right for you?
Assuming you have the luxury of some time and space in your job search, it is a wise idea to add serious thought to each application. About a third of your life is spent at work, and as you can probably confirm, searching for the right job is a tiring, time-consuming task in itself. Therefore, it is important that you do everything in your power to determine whether a job or company will fit well before you take it.
Asking yourself a few questions while filling out the Application Form can help you avoid a bad decision – or even search for another job.
1. Is this really the right job for me?
A broad question, to be sure, but it is important. Ask yourself why you are applying for this job. Do you admire the company? My dream job? Do you like the sound of it? (Or do you just apply for anything and everything that’s even remotely in your field?) Any reason is valid as long as you are aware and valid. However, it is valuable to be aware of your reasons during the application process.
2. Are my values compatible with business and company?
Examples of a value conflict can be minor to extreme. Of course, if you are a vegan you won’t want to work for a meat packaging factory, but there are more subtle reasons your values will not line up with a company. For example, studies show that young workers tend to value greater flexibility and work-life balance than their Baby Boomer colleagues; if a company does not offer flexible time or remote work opportunities, those who appreciate flexibility may not be happy there in the long run. Or, perhaps the family is a key-value, but the company requires long hours and weekends in the workplace. That would be a value conflict.
3. What is my business personality?
Can your business personality include things like choosing to work alone or in a team? Are you a leader or a stalker? Want to collaborate or compete with others? Are you a creative person who needs flexibility or a logical thinker developing on structure and routine? There is no right or wrong answer in general, but knowing what you prefer helps you, so you can determine whether your business personality fits into the culture of the company you are applying for. A creative, collaborative person who likes to collaborate with others will probably not grow in a highly competitive sales business where employees are drawn against each other to meet strict quotas.
4. What are my most valuable talents?
Businesses often talk about “unique sales proposals” or what sets them apart from their competitors. As a job applicant, you also have a unique sales offer. You have the skills, experience, talent or personality that distinguishes you from the pool of other candidates. When you think about it, don’t stop in superficial or common explanations such as “detail-oriented” or “punctual”. Dig deep and think about the unique qualities that really bring to your business that the company will appreciate.
5. Will this take me one step closer to where I want to be?
If you are depriving an existing business of growth opportunities or are not on the path to the career you really want to be on, it is important to ensure that a new position solves this problem. If growth is what you really want, it is unlikely that a lateral movement will make you happy in the long run. Promotions are not the only way to grow your career. It’s worth to see if a company offers ongoing training or consultancy to help you get to where you want to go. And if you don’t know exactly where you want to go, now is the time to seriously reflect on yourself and solve it.
6. What would I like to change in my current job?
You probably know why you want to leave your current job, but have you thought about changing it to make it better? Sometimes for a personal reason, we leave a job like a bad colleague or a vulnerable boss. Other times we decided to leave because the job is not difficult, there are no opportunities for growth, and even it takes a long time to commute. You can’t forget the reasons you are unhappy with your current or previous job and remember them and ask yourself, what can you do to avoid having these problems in your new job?
7. What am I willing to give up?
This may sound like a strange question, but it’s a great way to help you determine what’s important to you. If a great opportunity arose but it doesn’t include X, will you still get the job? Your X factor can be almost anything: flexible time, stock options, free coffee in the lounge, health benefits, retirement plans, vacation time, the salary you want. Asking which non-negotiable things you can live without yourself can help you narrow your choices and make difficult decisions if you decide to choose between two different opportunities.
After spending some time thinking about these questions, you can safely assess whether each application is right for you. It may seem strange to ask that a job meets your specifications (rather than the other way), but in the long run, you and your employer will benefit more from the relationship when both you and your employer are sure you will be happy. Fulfilled.