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In our society, a major topic of discussion regarding careers is what good jobs to take on post-graduation. This definition of a “good job” usually depends on the job’s prestige, the salary it can command and its professional growth.
However, there is one thing we often fail to address early — and that is the idea of job fit. In our culture, job fit might be seen as something that shouldn’t be important. Because if you have a job, you should just be grateful. Right?
Not quite. Job fit affects your engagement and job happiness, and by extension, your productivity. A study by Harvard Business Review found that employees are 2.5 times more productive when they are better matched to jobs. Being in a career that fits your personality helps you be more adaptable and resilient, while making your work more meaningful.
More people now are seeing how important job fit is. A survey of 2,500 millennial and Gen-Z workers saw that 20% would quit a new job within a month if it wasn’t what they expected, while 41% would give a job two to six months before resigning.
But what is job fit? It refers to how well a person is suited for his or her position. And there are many factors that can influence this, including an individual’s personality. Job fit is essentially whether the role you’re applying for and the organisation align with your personality, values and goals.
To ascertain whether a job is right for you, here’s how you can save yourself some trouble before accepting an offer.
1. Look back at your previous roles
Take a quick walk down memory lane and think about your past jobs. Recall what you liked most about them and what you wished to bring with you on the next career journey. Also, think about what you disliked about your past experiences and consider if there are any similar red flags that could pop up at this next role.
2. Clarify what the job description means
Job descriptions can provide information about what to expect in your next role or company, and what are the responsibilities and expectations of the job. Use platforms like LinkedIn to view the profiles of other employees in similar roles at the company. This may help you evaluate the skills and the level of expertise required. At the interview, clarify questions you may have about the job description to verify what the role truly encompasses.
3. Find out about the company culture
Being in a company culture that fits your values will go a long way in making you feel comfortable to go to work each day. Pay attention to how their staff communicates with you, such as through emails and phone call conversations, to ascertain what they are like. If you’re attending an in-person interview, observe the office surroundings and its workers. During the interview, ask about the environment, how the team communicates, internal movement, and even employee turnover. Pay attention to their language and tone, and ask yourself if you’re comfortable with how your questions have been answered.
4. Do your research on the company (and your future boss)
Hirers often check up on you through your references and social media accounts, so there’s no reason why you can’t do the same. And in the world of Google, it’s easy to do so. Dig into the company’s website, its press releases, news articles, even annual reports, for any information. Similarly, check out your prospective manager’s LinkedIn profile, social media or any Google-able info about them to ascertain the type of person he or she might be.
5. Ensure the role meets your career goals.
Your interests, values and goals should influence your decision to accept an offer or not. So, during the interview, weave your career goals into the conversation. This helps both parties understand if the organisation can meet your expectations and career development plans. Ask questions to clarify any assumptions and ascertain if the company is where you would want to be in at least the next five years.
6. Talk about your remuneration and benefits.
Yes, it’s uncomfortable to address this sometimes, but it is important to determine whether your salary expectations can be met. If HR is present at the interview, ask about the benefits available. Even if the pay may not be as competitive as you hoped, the benefits may compensate that and also signal how the company takes care of employees.
It might seem like a lot of work to find out this and research that. But the more you know, the more you can confidently decide whether this job is the right fit for you.