WheelHello, this is Laura Lee Rose.  I am a speaker, an author, and an expert in time and project management. I help busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable, and have time to enjoy life. At the end of the day, I transform the way you run your business into a business you love to run.

Today’s question comes from a busy professional:

What does “the right fit” really mean when looking for a new job? What should job seekers consider when looking a new job opportunities (location, culture, hours, dress code, perks, mission, salary, etc.)? How can they weigh those factors effectively and ignore irrelevant input? How can people decide what their “deal breakers” are?

Taking a new job is sort of like buying a used car: you need to make sure you look under the hood and take it to a mechanic before you commit to anything.

Start by Conducting a Self-Assessment

How do you work the best? What managerial type works best for you? What type of work environment works best for you?

Before taking a new job, put yourself under the microscope first. You can’t determine whether or not you are a good fit for a job until you understand the kind of environment in which you thrive.

Once you’ve done a self-assessment and you understand what type of workplace you need to be a high-performing and valuable employee, then do the following:

  1. Ask your prospective employer a few simple questions: What does a typical day look like for a typical employee? What type of employee does the employer most enjoy working with? How would the employer describe the managerial style at the company?
  2. You should also ask the employer about whether or not the company can offer you everything you need. For example, if you need a workplace that allows flexible hours so you can take care of your children and/or attend school activities, make sure you ask the employer about this.
  3. Talk to your potential coworkers. Take them to lunch or drinks for an informal chat. Ask them similar questions about their managers and the organization. Do the employees’ perspectives match the perspectives of management and leadership?

NotesIs it common for prospective employees to ask their potential colleagues out for lunch to chat?

So what if it’s uncommon? It’s the people who do things differently who truly stand out.  If you are truly interested in finding out if this position is a good fit for you, why does it matter if other people don’t usually take this step?

But — It Seems Awkward!

What’s not awkward in the interview process? Would you rather stay in your comfort zone or find your perfect job?

Take the interview process out of the equation, and it’s just run-of-the-mill business networking. Regardless of whether you take the position or not, you inherently have many things in common with these people.  You share similar backgrounds, similar career goals, similar experiences, membership in the same professional associations, and probably even some of the same hobbies. It’s simply prudent to make smart business networking choices at every opportunity.

Toward this end, it’s always a good idea to end your chats with prospective coworkers in the following manner: “It was a pleasure meeting you. I feel we have lots of things in common. Regardless of how this particular interview process plays out, I would love to keep in touch. Are you on LinkedIn? Great! Maybe we can get in a round of golf before it gets too hot!”

Then, make sure you actually stay in contact with them.

It’s only awkward if you make it so.

TennisThe old adage —  “It’s not what you know, but who you know” — is somewhat true.  People like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Why not take the opportunity to get to know these people more — regardless of what happens with this particular position? This won’t be the last position available in the company, and your networking could help you land another position down the line.

You never know!

I know your situation is different. Why don’t we schedule an appointment, where I get to know more about your unique situation? I will be happy to make recommendations on what your best steps are moving forward. To schedule an appointment, book it here.

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