Friday Q&A: Find and Take the Right Job

The great questions keep rolling in. This week David B. asks:

I think I'm ready to make the leap to a bigger role at another company and want to start an executive job search. I have some trepidation, though, because I'm at a good company and there is considerable risk that I'll make a move and then find it's a bad fit. Do you have suggestions on how to confidently make a change to a new company in a high-visibility role?

You are in a great position that most people do not find themselves in; more typically, job searchers are either unemployed or employed but miserable. Nevertheless, your mindset and process is completely relevant to those other two groups, because their best chance for success starts with being selective – just like you.

First things first: make sure you have done a self-evaluation and targeted only a handful of specific opportunities. Next, because everyone should approach job hunting the same way regardless of their situation, the evaluation of a new job is also the same. Here is a great two-tier method to make sure you don’t screw up and take the wrong job:

Big Picture Compatibility – make sure this is the right organization for you:

  1. Company Culture – Most importantly, their values need to match your values. If you put the customer first but they put the bottom line first, you would be miserable there. Same with employee relations, appetite for risk, and other major factors. Get this locked in before anything else.
  2. Size – No matter the culture, size is a major factor in an organization’s environment. If you can’t stand heavy bureaucracy, look for companies under $1 billion in revenue. If the thought of less than three people approving your deliverables before you submit them makes you uneasy, go for the big companies.
  3. Strategy – Where is the company going over the next five years? If the strategy a) is explained well to you by the hiring manager and b) makes a ton of sense and excites you, bingo. If it is vague, confusing, or downright stupid, stay away.

 Small Picture Compatibility – make sure this is the right role for you:

  1. Fulfillment – Will you love what you do on a daily basis? The best way to evaluate fulfillment is to determine if the role will enable you to build the success stories you want to be known for.
  2. Trajectory – Is this role going to help you build to your ultimate career goal?
  3. Hygiene – Anything that burdens your personal preferences will affect your happiness in the role. Travel, pay rate, expense report processing, commute, and dress code are examples of what should be evaluated, especially if you have a spouse or family to consider. Of course, it is likely you will need to make hygienic sacrifices for a fulfilling role at the right company, but make sure you and your family have acknowledged and accepted them going into the new gig.

The second key advantage to this method is the reason why all job hunters should follow it: you increase the odds of winning the job you want against your competition. Remember that hiring managers also want the person that fits their company and the role the best. If you prove that person is you during the interview process, you overcome education or experience disadvantages you may have.

Read the entire megadisrupter series of articles on job hunting here.

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