How do you know if a company is right for you?

07 December by Cognitive Group

Right Company

I’m sure, just like me in times gone by, you’ve started a new job full of vigour and excitement, eager to get going; your interview was great, the people sound wonderful - “they’re just like me” – and the projects are going to be challenging but fun. Then reality starts to kick in and those rose-tinted glasses fall off. This could be within days, weeks, or months.

So, do you blame the company for selling you a false dream? Perhaps. Or did you not ask the right questions of both yourself and of your future employer? Either way, it is certainly worth taking note of some of these ideas before your next interview.

First things first. Why are you looking for a new job?

Always deep dive into your motivations. Try to examine what matters most to you and then look at how your career fits in. You may think it is always going to be money (and sometimes it is!) but is that really the deciding factor?

You could be a contractor going through the rigmarole of finding a new placement every few months and still you may need to relook at what you really want from a role. Indeed, we recently placed David, who was regularly working in leadership roles but decided to take a much more junior level opportunity simply due to how close it was to his home.

“It was lovely staying a home, sleeping in my own bed rather than a Premier Inn. It did a massive amount for my waistline as well, not having those breakfasts every morning that I can’t resist!”

-David Burn, Business Analyst (usually Project Lead)

On the other hand, you may be frustrated that the organisation you work for does not share your overarching values.

“[Working with Cognitive] was really good at getting me to think about my core values and what I really wanted in my next role and understanding what’s important to me. What that has done is aligned me [with my current company] and the core values they have… it’s made me feel quite at home and feels like I’ve been here for a very long time.”

-Samina Gordon, Senior Project Manager

Without taking the time to look at what motivates you, you may never know, and you may always find yourself unhappy at work – and that won’t be at the fault of your employer. So, take a step back and don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer questions that make them think, and also help you decide if they are really going to be the ones for you.

5 questions to get you thinking.

Aside from the classic “what opportunities are there to progress my career?”, “do you have a training and development programme?”, “What is your culture like?”, think outside the box and consider the answers that will actually affect you and the way you work.

1.What examples of customer service do you have?

Do they work with end users? Perhaps they are a consultancy. How they deal with paying customers will undoubtedly reflect what their internal processes are like.

2.How did you stay in touch with employees and keep them engaged during lockdown?

Make them think beyond the generic response… this could be a great alternative to understanding what the culture and values of the organisation are like.

3.Health and well-being – how do these fit into the organisations approach?

What, if any, examples do they have of initiatives been driving internally?

4.How is success defined?

Does this match your interpretation? i.e. to win the biggest and most impressive projects; to grow faster than their competitors or work on the latest technologies. How do you determine if you’ve been successful and how does this fit with your own career goals?

5.How will you get managed and be given regular feedback?

Surely you want to progress in each career step you take, so you want to make sure the organisation you are going to is able to support you in that journey.

By investing more time in obtaining answers that show an organisations culture and where it is going, you will be on course to find a role that satisfies both the now and the future.

Contact us to discuss your future.