January 5, 2018
What Kind of Office Environment is Preferred?
Do you prefer a laid-back work atmosphere where you can wear flip flops and sit near a pinball machine or would you rather a more buttoned-up and structured environment? Both types of offices appeal to different personality types and have their own sets of ups and downs. A casual environment can be excellent for someone who is self-motivated and enjoys flexibility. Conversely, a formal environment is perfect for a person who is comforted by structure and appreciates that the boundaries of when to clock-in and out are already in place.
A great way to get more insight into different office environments is to contact a company that you are interested in and request an informational interview. Kellie, Hiring Manager at Emerson, says, “I think [an informational interview] is a great tool to learn a lot about the company culture, the company industry, and have an opportunity to make connections with various employees at the company.” 1 Use the opportunity of an informational interview to see what about the office environment does and does not appeal to you. If you see aspects that you appreciate, put it on your job wish list!
Where is Your Ideal Location?
When first applying for jobs, it is tempting to send your resume out to as many companies as possible and cross your fingers that something will stick. The issue with this tactic is that you might end up getting offered opportunities that you didn’t necessarily want in locations you dislike.
Take the time to imagine what you want to see on the way to work. Would you like to drive by mountains or would you prefer to commute via train in a bustling city? Perhaps you love the town you are currently in and want to stay where you are. Consider where your ideal location would be and use the opportunity of entering the workforce to apply to jobs that will take, or keep, you there.
How important is the prestige of the company?
As you think about what role would interest you most, examine if you would rather have a better title by working at a smaller company or a lower job title at a very well-known and prestigious company. Each option has its benefits. If considering working at a small and lesser-known organization, Charlene, Hiring Manager at Gap, points out that “because the company is small, you may actually get even more experience due to the fact that in small companies people often take on many roles.”2 However, Charlene continues that “if you find a company that you are passionate about and they have an entry level position (perhaps administrative) my advice is to take the position if you are able to do it.”3 It all depends on what you want. Weigh out what matters most to you and apply to jobs that meet those needs.
Save yourself from accepting a position that isn’t right for you by getting clear on what you want before you start your job search. The simple act of making a job wish list will help guide your choices through the application process, aid in preparing the best questions and answers during your interview, and let you know that you got the very thing you wanted when you land your dream job.