How Picking the Right Job Is Like Picking Your Dream Home
Jobspring Partners has been in the IT recruiting space for nearly three decades. Over this time, the industry has grown, lagged, surged, and slumped. Technology developed, and many regions saw the rise of technical needs within their cities. Throughout this time, the one thing that has remained true is that there is not, there has never been, and there will never be a “silver bullet” solution for candidates. There’s no easy way to find the perfect job, let alone to get yourself hired for this perfect job.
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The closest thing we have to a universal truth with regards to the job-hunting and recruiting experience is that every candidate, regardless of tech stack, age, or prior experience, will often spend a moment wondering ‘does this feel right?’ or ‘how do I know for sure?’ Doesn’t that sound familiar? Likely, it’s the same thought-process you had or will have when you hunt for your next house or apartment.
Shopping for a home can be at times overwhelming, but it’s made easier when one knows what one wants, when one goes into the process with a certain look and feel in mind. There are simply so many variables to consider: location, price, size, design, shape, and even more beyond that. What this means is that while one may go on many tours of different buildings or complexes, one will often leave frustrated, having nothing to show for the time beyond a bit of disappointment. The experience of countless job-seekers can be very closely compared.
Many job searches begin with a perfect job in mind: a competitive salary, benefits that make you feel like the company cares about its employees, a team of hard-working individuals, and a breezy 5-minute commute. Quickly jobseekers begin to feel that nothing is quite perfect; as the job search drags on, they begin to worry that their perfect job may not exist, although in reality, it just might.
From our experience in helping candidates with their job search, we find that disheartened candidates often know that some of their ideals are unattainable and won’t ask themselves the tough questions.
‘Would I love to live in the building that is a 2-minute walk from my office? But is it affordable? Does it allow pets? Are there nearby restaurants that I like? Although this apartment is walkable, it’s not necessarily the best choice for me.’ Likewise, candidates need to evaluate similar aspects of a job. It’s important to start weighing priorities, how much value different aspects of each job hold, etc. Is it more important to have a 5-minute commute or to get up in the morning, excited to go to work that day? What is more valuable, a large salary or a great work-life balance?
We all would love to have everything, and often, that’s what is expected of recruiters during the job search. However, when individuals start to really ask themselves the tough questions and weigh the costs and benefits of each part of the job, many realize what is most important to them – and can jump at the right job when they see it matches up. Just like finding a house or apartment that is both affordable and beautiful, you make it your home.
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Whenever we speak with candidates about making a decision, they go through the process of determining if this job opportunity is the most suitable role for them, and often want input from our recruiting staff. This is what we like to tell them: “if this is the right job for you, then everything else will work itself out. If it isn’t, then you’ll move on and find something else; it’s your search and your life.”
When considering a new apartment or house, you’ll most likely take a tour of the place, and get a feel for whether you could see yourself living there. Similarly, as a candidate, one should do the same during the interview process. We tell all our candidates that when approaching the interview process, they should visualize themselves in the environment, how they might interact with the team members they meet. The interview is often an experiment in engagement; it’s a house tour. At the end of the day, if your coworkers don’t make you feel comfortable, if the office environment doesn’t make you feel comfortable, you aren't likely to be happy at work, so the interview is an important opportunity to glean this information. After all, a house or apartment needs to provide safety and comfort.
The second piece of information we often share is that you don’t have to jump at the first job, but it’s also alright if you do. In an ideal world, it’d be great to do a slew of interviews with multiple companies and make sure that all available options were on the table before making a final decision. However, that can’t always be the case. Sometimes, the right job for you is the first job you see, and it’s important to jump on it while it’s still available. Jobs can’t be put on hold, just like most houses or apartments. The company will continue to interview other candidates, because they need to find the right person for their team as well. Our advice would be that if you find the right job, and you feel comfortable asking and answering those tough questions, then you should take the job. The company will feel your excitement about the opportunity and will be more likely to offer you a better package. However, if you find the answers don’t point towards that specific job, then it’s important to move on; the job wasn’t right for you. Be patient. The right job for you is out there.
The most difficult question that every candidate is forced to ask themselves at one point or another is ‘how do I know for sure?’ Unfortunately, our answer is often that you don’t. The best thing you can do in this situation is to make sure that you have your priorities straight, understand what you are and are not willing to compromise on, and to be honest with yourself. Just like buying a house or renting an apartment, the place can feel right, it can look right, and it can be the right price, but without actually living there, you won’t ever be able to be 100% certain that it’s the right place for you. A new job is the same way; you won’t really know for sure until you take the job and begin working there. And if that job isn’t for you, then you move on and find a better one. Just start with being honest with yourself and what is best for you, and you should end up with not just the right job, but the right home for you every time.