Business Coach Column by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) from the Manila Bulletin
Question: “How can I know if a job is the right one for me? I’m afraid of choosing a job I’ll end up resigning from. (Yorina U., Manila, via email)
Most jobseekers are usually tempted to apply for any vacant position in a company. In their desperation to get a job, they would grab every opportunity to get an interview, and sign the employee contract as soon as possible. Avoid doing this. Make sure you get the right job for you.
Below is a checklist to know if a job is the right one for you:
• The job matches your qualifications. Do not apply for a job that is not your expertise. Know your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Target a position for whose skills you are very proficient.
Some job ads even specify personal qualities they desire from their applicants. If they indicate that they need someone dynamic and flexible, this means they prefer somebody to be self-motivated and proactive.
Read want ads carefully, as this will give you a clue on the kind of working environment they will provide you later.
• The company has a good reputation. Do your research. Identify who placed the ad. If the companies screen their applicants before they hire, in the same way you should screen them before you apply.
Make sure that the company is not a fly-by-night, nor engaged in any illegal transactions. Ask your friends if they know the company, or visit their website and read their vision, mission, and purpose. Never apply if their beliefs and principles contradict yours.
A good clue to this is the size of the advertisement. If the size is big, then it means that the position is very important to the company, and that they are willing to spend to get the best in the industry.
• The location is near your residence. This is being overlooked by many jobseekers. Consider this, because a long commute to and from work can really be stressful. This also endangers you during overtime, when you have to go home very late at night.
A maximum 30 to 45 minutes travel time is just right.
• Salary is good enough. Make sure that the company will properly compensate you. Be realistic. The salary you should be getting must be comparable with the going rate in the industry.
Find out also if the company pays SSS, Philhealth, Pag-Ibig, or gives other benefits. Some companies indicate “unlimited income” in their advertisements. Probe this because this might indicate working on straight commission basis.
• Company provides opportunity for career growth. Ask if the company offers training. Envision yourself going up the career ladder in 3 to 5 years time of staying with the company. A good company wants its employees to succeed with them. It would not mind spending money to hone the skills and talents of their employees.
• Good working environment. Assess if the work areas are clean, and poses no danger to your health. Tour the canteen, and find out if they offer clean food. It is also a plus factor if the current employees are friendly and cheerful.
• The job is what you want to do. Do not apply for a position that you do not like to do; you will just find yourself dragging your feet to work every day. It will be difficult to work if you are not motivated.
• Find a job that fits your career path. If you had been in HR for ten years then shifting to a sales job may mean you will be starting all over again. It usually is better to resist taking a detour unless you are sure it is your calling.
Picking the right job is one of the most important decisions you will make. Take the time to make sure you are on the right path. Being unemployed for a few weeks is better than taking the first company that is willing to hire you – then regretting it. Invest in the time and effort to make sure you get the right job.
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