The Perfect Fit | How Do I Know if a Job is Right for Me?

The Perfect Fit | How Do I Know if a Job is Right for Me? was originally published on Idealist Careers.

A new year brings a renewed sense of energy and hope for those on the job hunt, and 2021 is certainly no exception. While the economic implications of the COVID-19 crisis are out of our control, organizations are taking action on long-needed changes to create office cultures that embrace diversity and honor differences. Many resilient job seekers meanwhile, are building new skills and making strategic career pivots into roles that we may have never imagined possible.

Whether you are currently on the job hunt or just starting to consider a new role, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether or not a new job is for you. Here, we share strategic questions to ask yourself to make sure you step into your next role feeling informed, empowered, and set up for success.

Reflect on what you’ve done

The most well-informed decisions are data-driven, and deciding whether or not to accept a new role is no exception. As you consider your options, take time to gather data from your past. Journaling about previous roles can be a powerful exercise, as can digging out and re-reading your old performance reviews. Below are a few prompts to help guide you through the reflection process:

Based on my old notes, journal and planner entries, and quarterly or annual reflections …

  • … What type of work do I find most meaningful, and why?
  • … What type of work gives me energy? What drains me?
  • … How would I describe my ideal office environment and culture?
  • … How important is it to me that my values align with those of where I work?

Review the job description carefully

As a former talent specialist, I can share from personal experience that employers tend to think critically about how they present open positions to the public. The job description is their opportunity to convey what they consider most important—both in terms of the specific skills and qualifications for the position, as well as in terms of organizational culture.

Employers frequently list the most relevant skills and qualifications in the first three to five bullets of a job description. So if you’re exploring a role where those bullets do not resonate—chances are, it’s best to move on to other opportunities. On the other hand, if those bullets do align with your skills and interests, it’s indicative that it may be a good fit.

The language included in a job description can also demonstrate the organization’s commitment to fostering a culture that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Here are a few signs that your potential future employer recognizes and honors the value of diversity in the workplace:

  • The job posting demonstrates specific actions an organization is taking to promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture, for example requesting that applicants include pronouns in the job application.
  • Details on salary, including a specific number or a range, are posted.
  • The job description does not contain an excessive amount of industry speak or jargon.
  • Details on inclusive benefits, such as parental leave, childcare support, or mental health support, are noted.

Gather data during the interview process

The interview process is another opportunity to gather data that can help inform your decision. As you prepare for your conversation with the hiring manager, you also want to think deeply about what questions you have for them. Earlier this year, we shared a list offering insights into an organization’s culture based on their response to the global pandemic. Below are other potential questions you might ask to help give you knowledge about the role and organization at both the tactical and strategic levels:

  • How is success measured in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?
  • What does the onboarding process look like for someone in this role?
  • In what ways is the organization helping to facilitate a supportive onboarding experience for employees while many are still working from home?
  • How does the organization take employee feedback into account?
  • What steps is the organization taking to create a sustainable culture and environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive?
  • In what ways do you see the person in this role contributing to organizational priorities in the year ahead?

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If you’re exploring new opportunities and have found yourself wondering whether or not a role is the right fit for you, give the above ideas a try!

We hope they can bring a sense of clarity to your job search. Let us know how they work for you here on Facebook.

By Lisa Dubler - Idealist Careers
Idealist Careers
Idealist Careers | Helping you land, love, and grow in your social-impact career. And visit Idealist.org explore thousands of great jobs and social-impact organizations near you.