You’ve got your suit back from the dry cleaners, updated your portfolio and you have a new haircut, but before you can walk out that door you need to do your homework. Before you start your job hunt, researching potential companies, job duties, policies and standards is not only a good idea, it’s essential.
“The research you do is part of your decision on what is the right company for you. Ideally, the company is a good fit to your strengths, values and interests,” says Daneal Charney, president of Leadership ReFramed coaching service. “You are going to spend every living and breathing moment there, so, it’s got to be satisfying.”
Doing the proper research isn’t only a necessary part of preparing for an interview and impressing the employer as to how well you know the company, it is about how well your personality fits with the company. Proper research can be the major difference between staying at a job for six months or six years.
“Knowing that there is a good fit is critical to your long-term satisfaction and success in an organization. Many of my career transition clients have landed in cultures or with bosses that don’t fit them and are now re-thinking their careers. This is often a very stressful process,” says Charney.
So, what kind of information should you be seeking? Information like the company history, standards and policies, job duties, chance of promotions, vacation and sick day policies, working style flexibility, who you will be reporting to and their leadership style, and whether there is a good fit between your values and the values of the company are all important aspects to consider, says Charney.
“Do an information interview with all your target companies. Use your personal networks to understand more about these companies. Read company profiles in magazines like Canadian Business and Profit. You are just as much interviewing the company as the company is you.”
Career transitions later on can be difficult. Doing your research and making an informed decision does have an impact on your career, says Charney.
“Know what you are getting into. It’s a relationship with long-term commitment.”