A very important component that job seekers often overlook is gathering more than the most basic information about their future employers. Of course everyone considers salary, benefits and vacation time, but taking a closer look at potential employers could pay off big in the long term.
A major aspect to consider is the working environment. You will be spending a lot of time at this place each week. If you’re miserable there, the days are likely to seem excruciatingly long and this could cause you a lot of stress. You may do well in a more structured environment where everyone’s responsibilities are clearly defined. Or you might prefer a looser, more relaxed and open environment. As you’re walked through the office or given a tour, take note of the atmosphere of the place. Ask them to show you where your desk or workstation will be. If you are claustrophobic and they plan to put you in a dark, tiny cubicle with no natural light in sight, you may want to think twice about accepting an offer. If it doesn’t “feel” like a good fit for you, then it probably isn’t.
Another thing to consider is the schedule. If everyone starts at 6 a.m. and you’re not a morning person, then this position may not be right for you. You should also ask how many hours the position requires. A salaried position where employers continually keep you for long hours will quickly make you wish you had negotiated a higher salary.
These days it is common for employees to jump from one job to the next as they work their way to bigger and better positions. Some people want the stability of a long-term commitment though. Ask about the average length of time that employees stay at the company. Try to get a sense of what employee turn over is like.
One of the best ways to find out about a company is to ask around. Find people familiar with the employer and ask about their reputation.
If the employer offers additional insurance, like life and disability insurance, this is an added perk that will save you from having to buy your own. Additionally, some professions require that you take continuing education courses to stay current in your field. If this is the case be sure to ask if the employer covers these costs.
Often during the hiring process the employer doesn’t mention some of the perks that come with a job. This could include free or discounted products, travel or extra time off. Although the employer might not be able to guarantee these perks, they are good to know when making your decision.
So while salary, benefits and vacation time are key factors in your job search, it is well worth it to take a closer look at your potential employers. The next employment agreement you make could be a perfect fit for you all around, and not just for the next paycheck.